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DateOriginal Topic
7th January 2005Pte. Henry Hook
By David Buffrey
The site says Hook was 28 at the time of Rorke's Drift (1879) and that he died in 1905. It also states that whilst he purchased his discharge from SWB in 1880, he server in another regiment for a further 20 year period starting in. It further states that after retirement, he worked in the British Museum. All this doesn't quite fit together.The 1901 census has him listed as an attendant at the British Museum, living in Islington, aged 47. This doesn't match the website details either. Any thoughts?
7th January 2005Martin Everett
Dear david,

Harry Hook served in the volunteers - a force which was a forrunner of today's Territorials or if you are in N America - Militia. There were a part-time force training at weekend with an annual training camp of 7-10 days during. He was living in London worked in the Bitish Museum and joined 1st Volunteer Battalion Royal Fusiliers reaching the rank of Sergeant. There is a famous seven VC group photograph taken in Brecon in January 1898 with Shy Hook in his volunteer's uniform.
9th January 2005Nick Thornicroft
David. Hook's age varies throughout his life, but he was baptised at Churcham, Glos., on September 1st, 1850. His coffin plate apparently gave his age as "53", but he was actually 54 when he died, on March 12th, 1905. His official date of birth is August 6th, 1850.

Nick Thornicroft
10th January 2005richard
And on the subject of Hook, in a documentary I saw on the history channel one of the "experts" stated that Hook was a regimental cook, which was news to me! Anyone know anything more?
10th January 2005Peter Ewart
Not the regimental cook, Richard, but apparently occupied in occasional cooking duties, including on that day - along with Hitch. "Preparing the tea for the sick" etc.

Hook's biographer, Barry Johnson, explains that the duty was shared among privates by roster because of the shortage of cooks in the army. I think the original source is Hook and/or Hitch in their own respective accounts of the engagement but haven't checked.

Barry Johnson does add that unfortunately "his name rhymes with Cook" & "it has been too much of a temptation for at least one popular narrator to repeat the phrase "Hook the Cook." (I think the actual quote is "Hook was the Cook!" isn't it?)