Charles William Cooke was born in 1892 the eldest child of Charles Humphrey Cooke and Eliza Maria Corlett who married in Chorlton-upon-Medlock on 7th August 1888. Charles Senior was described as a designer for a calico printer on the earlier censuses, but as a packer in the furniture trade in 1911.
In 1901 the family were living at 27 Byrom Street, Altrincham. Charles Humphrey Cooke aged 37, designer to calico printer, Eliza Maria aged 37, Charles William aged 9, Ada aged 5, Elsie aged 3 and Thomas aged 2. There was a boarder living with them, John Hugh Beech aged 33, a designer to calico printer.
Ten years later in 1911 the family were still living at 27 Byrom Street. Eliza Maria had died early in 1904, leaving Charles Humphrey a widower. Charles William was 19 and a watchmaker’s apprentice. Ada, Elsie and Thomas were all still living at home.
Following Banns being read in Christ Church, Prestatyn, Charles William married Fanny Hughes on 16th November 1918, daughter of Thomas Hughes, a Coachman and Ellenor Rutter.
Thomas and Ellenor had been married on 9th August 1884 in Hartford, Cheshire, Thomas being the son of Francis Hughes, a Labourer and Ellenor the daughter of William Rutter, a gamekeeper.
Fanny’s mother Ellenor was still alive in 1939, living in Linden Cottage, Prestatyn with three of her daughters, including Fanny. The 1939 Register tells us that Ellenor was born on 3rd June 1866, Doris Hughes 5th January 1896, Mary Hughes 23rd December 1901 and Fanny Cooke born 15th November 1889.
Charles’s military records have not been traced, but it is known that he was awarded the DCM. From the London Gazette 30 June 1915 – Citation for award of DCM – For conspicuous gallantry as a telephonist in September, 1914 at Soupir, when under heavy shell fire and during all the operations on the Aisne. At St. Julien he was continually at work repairing and laying out lines under fire, and afterwards at Givenchy and Festubert, he gave an excellent example of good work and devotion to duty.
He is buried in Christ Church churchyard in Prestatyn. He has rather a magnificent grave, which says: ” Sacred to the Memory of my beloved husband, Sergeant Charles William Cooke, D.C.M R.F.A. who, after three and a half years active service (including the retreat from Mons) died broken in War March 1st 1919 aged 27 years.”
Charles’ widow Fanny lived until she was 81 and died on 6th March 1971. She is buried with Charles. Also buried in the same grave are Ellenor who died on 2nd January 1951, Maud who died on 4th December 1972, Doris who died on 21st June 1991 and Mary who died on 14th July 1997. William Jeffrey Hughes (Fanny’s brother) who died on 10th March 1962 and who was cremated at Landican is also noted on the grave stone.