Lt. William Lea Cook & Lt.-Col. Charles Benson Worsnop

Source: City of Vancouver Archives, Ref: AM54-S4-: VLP 76.9

Source: City of Vancouver Archives, Ref: AM54-S4-: VLP 76.9

Photo: City of Vancouver Archives, Ref: AM54-S4-: VLP 76.9

The St. Helens Roll of Honour website have created a tribute page to St. Helens born Lieutenant William Lea Cook. Cook died on February 3rd 1917 while serving with the 50th Battalion (Calgary Regiment). I published my research in October 2012 but the St Helens team have provided even more detail. In addition to a photo of Cook’s inscription on the Vimy Memorial they have included a newspaper clipping from the St. Helens Newspaper & Advertiser detailing the circumstances of his death.

A letter, written by Lt-Col. C. B. Worsnop, reveals that Cook led a raiding party on the night of Feb. 3/4 and that “in his exceeding keenness to take a prisoner he allowed a man who was running away from him to suddenly turn and fire on him. The boy never knew he was hit, and the man behind him immediately accounted for the German.”

Charles Benson Worsnop was born in Philadelphia but was living in Vancouver when he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force on May 1, 1916.  He was a Major in the 102nd (Overseas) Battalion but took command of the 50th Battalion (Calgary Regiment) at the beginning of 1917. The wonderful photograph shown above was located in the City of Vancouver Archives. The photo of “G” Company Sixth Regiment Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles was taken in Vancouver on April 23, 1904 and shows Worsnop kneeling in the 2nd row on the far left.

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