Centenary of WW1; Kilmore Remembers: Richard Thomas Cooke

Dick Cooke came from Irish catholic roots and was a son of Pyalong. One of twelve living children he was born at home on the family farm on February 24 1896. His father was Nicholas Cooke and his mother was Margaret, nee Ryan.

He was educated at Pyalong State School, then Assumption College Kilmore.

In February 1913, aged 17 he began work as a bank clerk in the Kilmore branch of the Bank of Victoria while undertaking his compulsory military training with the Essendon Rifles Senior Cadets.

In January 1915, he moved to Watchem with the Bank. By April he had been sent to Ouyen.  It was here, in June with his parents’ consent he enlisted.

As part of the 23rd Battalion, he was among the last of the reinforcements at Gallipoli and also part of it successful evacuation.  By the end of the year he was in France. In July 1916 he was wounded in the Battle of Pozieres.  In late August, Richard rejoined the Battalion.  He had survived one of the worst battles of the War only to return to the Somme offensive. On Thursday, 9th of November 1916, Richard was killed on the line at Flers.   He was 20 years old. Later a friend would write: “I can’t say how sorry I am to hear of young Dick Cooke going under. He was such a happy good natured young fellow, always smiling, the sort of lad everybody liked”.  The Kilmore Advertiser described him as “a game, joyous boy and a general favourite”.

He is remembered at the A.I.F. Burial Ground in Flers, France.

In Pyalong, he is commemorated on the Pyalong State School Honour Roll, a Roll of Honour from the Shire of Pyalong, now located in the Community Hall. His name is on a plaque beneath a picture of Saint Joseph in the Pyalong Catholic Church.

In Kilmore, he is commemorated on the doors of the small chapel at Assumption College, on the Honour Board in the Kilmore Memorial Hall and on the Kilmore War Memorial.

By Elizabeth Pidgeon

Richard Thomas Cooke, 1896-1916
Richard Thomas Cooke, 1896-1916

Photo source: Cooke Family

Reproduced in the North Central Review, 9 December 2014, p6

 

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Message in a bottle

Look into Kilmore’s industrial past with a visit to the latest display from Kilmore Historical Society in the foyer outside the Kilmore library. Artifacts from Kilmore’s bottling factory include awards, articles, labels and bottles that illustrate the 136 year history of the factory.  The factory was located in Gipps Street, Kilmore.  From 1968 the business was operated by the Fatchen family and was commonly referred to by locals as Fatchens.  Many families looked forward to their local soft drink arriving in the traditional glass bottles over summer.  The family ran the business until they closed the doors in 2000. The display is available to view through to the end of March.

Hello world!

Welcome to our new website.

We hope you find it a refreshing update; easier to navigate and quickly find newly added featured content. The site now also has the ability to easily share content with your friends via the social media connectivity buttons and the capability of providing feedback and comments. We hope that you will feel free to share your own Kilmore related stories with us.

As part of our makeover we have also integrated the Kilmore Footsteps page previously hosted by one of our members on their own personal site. Researchers may submit their ancestors’ births, deaths and marriages data and contact details for connecting directly with other researchers and family connections. Kilmore Historical Society does not necessarily hold any records on these families and this page is offered purely as a service to the community. However, research inquiries to the society are most welcome as well as your stories about your Kilmore ancestors.

Kilmore Newspapers on the Web

by Liz Pidgeon

Trove

In early 2007 the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program was launched.  The National Library of Australia, in collaboration with Australian State and Territory libraries, began a program to digitise Australian newspapers for access and preservation purposes. By May 2009 Trove had been launched as a resource for information about Australians for Australians. It includes digitised newspapers from 1803-1954, The Australian Women’s Weekly to 1982, journals, articles and datasets, books, pictures, photos, objects, music sound and video,  maps, diaries, letters and archives, archived websites, people and organisations and lists.

Trove includes four separate specific newspapers for local research:

Kilmore Advertiser [1915 – 1918] 

Kilmore Free Press [1870 – 1954] 

Kilmore Free Press and Bourke and Dalhousie Advertiser [1865] 

Kilmore Free Press and Counties of Bourke and Dalhousie Advertiser [1865 – 1868] 

Trove also includes major newspapers for each state.  For Victoria, The Argus [1848 – 1957], is included.

The site uses electronically translated text and as such there are some errors, so for this reason think about your search strategy and possible spelling variations when looking for your subject of interest.  Once registered, a researcher can correct text.  Local news was reported widely so don’t restrict your search to local newspapers only.

This site continues to grow and has become the major online resource for Australian history.