Photograph courtesy of Daniel.


Born: 26th May 1914, at 47, White Elm Street, Ipswich.

Died: 19th February 1942; age: 27; lost at sea on board M.V. ‘Empire Comet.’

Residence: 114, Woodbridge Road, Ipswich.

Occupation: Malster’s Labourer.


Rank: Gunner – (DEMS Gunner); Service Number: 1616868.

Regiment: Royal Artillery, 7/4 Maritime Regiment.


Memorial Reference:

Panel 77, Column 3.

Plymouth Naval Memorial,



Father: Herbert Cook, born October 1877, Trimley St. Martin, Suffolk – died June 1944. A Boiler Maker’s Mate

Mother: Alice Louisa Cook (nee Chapman), born November 1890, Ipswich.

Family home 47, White Elm Street, Ipswich.


In 1936, in Ipswich, Herbert married, Gladys Amelia Scutcher, born February 1916, Ipswich – daughter of Bertie Roland Scutcher, a quay labourer, and Amelia Caroline Scutcher (nee Smith), of 135, Back Hamlet, Ipswich.

Gladys and Herbert had one son:

Ivan Herbert Cook, born May 1938, Ipswich.


England & Wales Register 1939.

Herbert & Gladys were living with their son at their family home, 114, Woodbridge Road, Ipswich. Herbert was a Malster’s Labourer.


19th February 1942

The ‘Empire Comet’ was a motor vessel (diesel), built in 1940, by Lithgows Ltd., Glasgow. She was placed under the management of Dodd, Thompson & Co. Ltd., London for the Ministry of War Transport. Port of registry – Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland. She was a Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship with 8 Royal Artillery Gunners providing protection. On the 7th February 1942 the ‘Empire Comet’ (Master Hector Rayment Willis) sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in Convoy HX 174 bound for Manchester, U.K. A few days into her journey she became detached from the Convoy due to dense fog. On the 19th February 1942 the German U-boat, U-136 (Kapitanleutnant Heinrich Zimmerman) observed ‘Empire Comet’ for a couple of hours before firing at 22:17hrs and hitting her with two torpedoes, 33 miles north of the uninhabited granite islet, Rockall. She went down within 9 minutes, with her stern uppermost followed by heavy detonations from below. All 38 members of the crew lost their lives, Herbert was 1 of the 8 gunners lost. There were no survivors.


Ipswich man lost on same ship and likely to of known each other: HENRY EDWARD HARPER



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