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WWII Casualties with Wickhamford Connections

Details concerning four men from Wickhamford who were killed in the Second World War can be seen in the article Wickhamford Men who died in WWII.  Brief details other villagers who enlisted are dealt with in the article Wickhamford Members of the Armed Forces in WWII.   A description of the aircraft crash in the village in 1941, which resulted in the loss of two lives is reported in the article Fatal Air Crash at Wickhamford.   The deaths of two other people with Wickhamford family connections are described below.

Captain Christine Mary Edmonds (1918-1945)

In the 1939 Register, Christine Edmonds is recorded as living at the YWCA, Corporation Street, Birmingham.  She was born on 1st November 1918 and a Medical student.  Her parents, Frank and Elizabeth lived in Sutton Coldfield and his occupation was a Metal Goods Manufacturer.   Christine had registered at the University of Birmingham on 27th October 1937.   On qualifying with the degrees of M.B. and Ch.B. she joined the Royal Army Medical Corps (No. 294884).   She rose to the rank of Captain and saw service in India.  She died there, aged 26 years, on 8th April 1945 and was buried in the War Cemetery, Madras (now Chennai).  She was a member of the Medical Women's Federation and their records mention that she died as a result of a riding accident, whilst in service.

Her family connection to Wickhamford is in the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which state that her parents were living in the village at the time of her death.   Their address at this time has not been located.  Whilst Frank Edmonds died at Sutton Coldfield in 1950, Elizabeth Edmonds remained in Wickhamford until 1957, when she moved to Berkhampsted, dying there in 1969.

Private Reginald Berkeley Arthur Cook (1921-1944)

Reginald was the posthumous son of Berkeley William Cook and his wife, Mary Louisa (née Masters).  Mary remarried in 1931, in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, her second husband being Howard Coward.  Reginald married Constance Mary Wright on 21st October 1941, in Wickhamford, and he was from Wincanton, Somerset.  In the 1939 Register, Constance was living at 12 Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford, with her parents, George and Nellie.  She was listed as an Optic Case Maker.

Pte Reginald Cook served in the Royal Army Service Corps (No. 5673323) as a driver, and he died in Egypt on 2nd April 1944, some time after the end of major fighting in North Africa.  His cause of death has not been found to date.  He was buried in the Fayid War Cemetery, Egypt.

The Evesham Journal reported his death in its 15th April 1944 edition.  It stated that his wife, Connie Cook of 77 Pitchers Hill, had only received a letter from him two days previously, saying he was ‘much better and hopes were entertained that he would be well again soon’.  The report goes on to say that he was a native of Wincanton and had been in the Territorial Army before the War.  He was mobilised on the outbreak of War.  In civilian life, he was employed by the Co-operative Company as an under-manager in the grocery department. He had met his future wife while billeted near Evesham.   Reginald Cook had been serving overseas for more than two and a half years.

Acknowledgement:  Thanks are due to Sophie Almond who contacted our Visitors' Book with the information concerning the death of Christine Edmonds.

Tom Locke, December 2019 (revised October 2020)