Rank:


Corporal

Service No(s):


789; 546095; WR/177632

Regiment:


Royal Engineers

Unit:

First London Division; Railway Operating Division

Returned:

Yes

Place of birth:

Islington

Occupation:

Painter

Date of death:

Cause of death:

Grave or panel reference:

Name of father:

Henry George Cock

Name of siblings:

William; Arthur George; Walter James; Leonard; Henry George; Ernest; Frank; Gerald

Name(s) of children:

Died:

No

Date of birth:

Place of enlistment:

Victoria Park Square

Event:

France

Age at death:

Cemetery or memorial:

Other memorial:

Name of mother:

Louisa

Name of spouse:

Lilian Agnes Cock, nee Buckle

Address:

65 Woodstock Road

Biography:

Stanley Wellman Cock was one of three brothers named on the plaque to returning soldiers in St Mellitus Church: Stanley, Ernest and Henry. He was the son of Henry George Cock and his wife Louisa, and before the war he worked as a painter. The family lived near New Court Chapel at 65 Woodstock Road. Also living there according to the 1911 Census was Lillian Agnes Buckle, aged 21. In February 1916, in the middle of the war, she and Stanley were married.

Stanley enlisted as a territorial soldier in May 1912 at the age of 21, signing up at Victoria Park Square to join the Royal Engineers as a Private, for four years as was normal. Volunteers knew, however, that in the event of war they would automatically serve for the duration. When war broke out in August 1914, Stanley first served in London and then in December 1914 became part of the British Expeditionary Force to France. He was promoted to Second Corporal in 1915, a rank that existed only in the Royal Engineers and Army Ordnance Corps; men wore one rank chevron like lance corporals in other regiments but unlike them held full non-commissioned officer rank. Stanley was back in England for five months in 1916, including leave and a stay in Bethnal Green Military Hospital from February to April, at which time he also got married. He was then posted to the 3rd Line to return overseas and was sent out to France. He may have served there for the rest of the war until he was demobilised in May 1919.

Men who had a civilian trade before the war could often continue it in the Army as Stanley did. In 1914 he was examined by F. Chilton of 7 York Road in north London and certified as a ‘Very Good Painter’ so his army rank in the First London Division of the Royal Engineers became Painter Superior. In 1917 Stanley was tested again, this time in the workshops in France of the Railway Operating Division (a division formed in 1915 to operate railways in the many theatres of the war) and records show he proved himself ‘a Superior Blockman.’

As a married man, Stanley could apply for a Separation Allowance. This was a portion of a soldier’s pay which was matched by the government and sent to his dependents to make sure they were not left destitute while he was on active service. In 1916 the rate for a wife of a private or corporal with no children, which was the case for Lilian when Stanley applied, was 12s.6d. Lilian’s address was still 65 Woodstock Road and she could collect her allowance at the nearest Post Office, which was at 290 Seven Sisters Road.

Stanley’s brothers both joined the London Regiment initially, but Henry, who was a railwayman, also served some time in the Royal Engineers.