1st Bn., Royal Irish Rifles.

Formerly 28212 in the Yorkshire Regiment.

Killed in action, aged 37, on the 16th of August 1917.

Born at Harome, N Yorks and enlisted at Saltburn by Sea, N Yorks.

Son of Frank and Mary Cook, of Harome, Nawton

Husband of Hannah Ellen Cook, of Nunnington, York.

Tyne Cot Memorial. Nr Ypres.

Soldiers Died in the Great War gives residence as Malton, Yorks.
1911 census. Francis, age 28, was working as a "Beastman" for a Farmer, William Hutchinson, at Oswaldkirk, N Yorks.
Another servant at the Farm was Hannah Ellen Schollett, age 29, born Nunnington, N Yorks.
At some time before the War, she and Francis were married.
How Francis came to be commemorated on the Skelton War Memorial is not presently known.

Francis' Medal Card shows that he was originally allocated to the Yorkshire Regiment.
He was not awarded the 1914/15 Star.
The date of his transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles and when he first went to France in 1916 or later is not known.
The 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles were attached to the 25th Brigade, 8th Division.
In 1916 the 8th Division took part in the Battle of Albert, the first stage in the offensive on the Somme.
At the time of Francis Cook's death the Division was fighting in the Third Battle of Ypres or Passchendaele.
An offensive was mounted by Commonwealth forces at Ypres to divert German attention from a weakened French front further south.
The initial attempt in June to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success.
The Infantry attacked on the 31st July after a 2 week Artillery bombardment, which gave the Germans warning and destroyed the drainage of what was to start with a swampy plain.
One of the wettest Summers on record then turned the battleground into pits of mud in which men and horses drowned.
The campaign finally came to a close in November with the capture of Passchendaele.
The 5 mile advance over 3 months had cost 325,000 Allied casualties and a quarter of a million Germans.

Francis is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial, which bears the names of 34,870 men who lost their lives in the area from August 16, 1917 and have no known grave.

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