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Auction: 18002 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 399

Three: Sister E. W. Cooke, Territorial Force Nursing Service, who sailed on the maiden voyage of the Britannic, before seeing service in Mesopotamia and France, where she was invalided as a result of '...aerial bombing at Etaples'

1914-15 Star (Sister E. W. Cooke. T.F.N.S.); British War and Victory Medals (Sister E. W. Cooke.), nearly extremely fine (3)

Ethel Winifred Cooke was born in at Cardiff in September 1879 and enrolled in the Territorial Force Nursing Service on 25 August 1909, whilst living at The Uplands, Newport. Mobilised on 11 August 1914, she served aboard the H.M. Hospital Ship Britannic on her maiden voyage to Gallipoli from 22 December 1915. Britannic was the sister ship to the ill-fated Titanic and sailed to Mudros with a crew of 675, including Cooke among the 101 Nurses. She would be transferred to the 5th Northumberland General Hospital on 17 April 1916, having completed the third voyage of Britannic which tragically ended with her loss on 21 November 1916, hitting a mine off Kea, Greece.

Transferred for service in Mesopotamia between May-November 1916, Cooke would proceed to France in May 1917 for the remainder of the War. Before War's end however, she would come under air attack and be invalided as a result:

'She was exposed to aerial bombing at Etaples. She suffered nerve strain, insomnia and debility.'

Cooke was granted 4 months' leave by the Medical Board in June 1918. Demobilised on 18 March 1919, her final report with the 5th General Hospital, from Major D. M. Haig, Royal Army Medical Corps, stated:

'Sister E. W. Cooke joined this Unit 11.8.18 and has had charge of surgical and medical wards. General professional ability good, administrative capacity and power of initiative fair. She is quiet, reliable and punctual and her general conduct has been very satisfactory.'

Cooke died in December 1934; sold with copied MIC and service record.

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