"We Remember" Booklet 2006
He was born in 1922,
one of six children. He joined the RAF in 1941, and, wishing to
do more for his country during World War II, he volunteered for
air duty. As an Air Gunner Sergeant he was one of nine killed
on 17th May 1944 during a night flying exercise. In
heavy clouds and icy conditions their Stirling III Bomber went
out of control and broke up, crashing in flames into a deep
quarry near Kettering, Northamptonshire. Wreckage was scattered
over a large area. The quarry is now filled in and planted over
with trees. In 1994 the site was renamed Stirling Spinney, in
memory of the men who perished there.
He was the third
child of seven of Bessie and Fred Laurie, born in 1890. His
father was a Colour Sergeant in the East Lancashire Regiment,
but became ill and died at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London,
when he was 41. Alfred, as the son of a man who died in service,
was eligible for The Duke of York’s Royal Military School. He
was admitted in October 1899 and remained there until July 1904.
Two of his brothers also attended the school. In August 1906 he
joined the Royal Garrison Artillery, serving with an exemplary
record. In 1915 he married Florence Whitehouse, and in October
that year he became a 2nd Lieutenant. He died of
wounds in the battle of the Somme in November 1916.
Frederick, Harry, and Charles Cooke
Frank (pictured) was
one of the seven sons of Charles and Emma Cooke who fought in
the Great War. Born in Dover he worked on the Breakwater as a
mason’s labourer before he enlisted to become a Sapper in the
Royal Engineers. He was 38 when he died on 7th
January 1918 from wounds received in the third Battle of Ypres.
He left his wife Eleanor, whom he had married in 1903, and three
children. Three of his brothers were also lost: Charles in July
1917 with 800 others when a magazine exploded on the HMS
Vanguard, and in April 1916 both Harry, again with a whole crew
of 800, when the HMS Russell was mined, and Frederick, who
served with a Canadian Regiment.