George Herbert Cook
Mentioned in Despatches
Captain Cook was O.C. ‘HQ’ Company. He was seriously wounded in the battle on 20th May 1940.
Captain Cook wrote the following addition to the 7th Battalion’s War Diary:
In the spring of 1942 I was in Oflag IX A/H Spangenburg, Germany, as also was my Commanding officer, Lt. Col. R. Gethen, M.C. One morning a new German officer took the parade and Colonel Gethen remarked to me that he recognised him.
Permission was obtained from Brigadier Eden for us to have an interview with this officer who is Oberleutenant Richter. At the interview this German officer stated that he was with General Rommel’s Panzer Division in France and he very clearly remembered meeting with the opposition which this Division encountered from a small force of British troops at Amiens on 20th May 1940. He told us that this Panzer Division had travelled 70 kilometres since dawn on that day and that this was the first serious opposition they had met. He spoke highly of the Gallantry shewn by this small force and said that, in consequence of this action, his Division was unable to proceed until daylight on 21st May. General Rommel was personally present in command of the operation. Colonel Gethen was in fact handed over to this officer on being taken prisoner.
G.H. Cook. Capt.
There are several references to Captain Cook but, in particular, he is mentioned in a Readers Digest article dated 3rd November 1940. He was wounded in the Battle of Amiens on 20th May 1940 and later picked up from the battlefield by an American Red Cross ambulance driver, who reported as follows:
‘I remember one in particular: Captain Cook of the Royal Sussex. He had lain on the field for two days, and when I picked him up his right arm was so riddled with bullets that I was afraid it would drop off. Finally, it came his turn in the operating room; but there were no stretchers to carry him upstairs. So he walked, with his good arm thrown over my shoulder. We passed a group of French soldiers complaining about all the things there were to complain of in our sad excuse for a hospital. Captain Cook gave them a withering look and said to me, in a clear voice: “What are we expected to do - sail our English fleet right up the bloody Seine to cheer these chaps up?”’