STEPHEN COOK – THE LIFEBOATMAN
|COOK INFORMATION & FAMILIES||THE SMUGGLER||THE PREACHER||THE FOLKESTONE LIFEBOAT|
STEPHEN COOK 1855 – 1923Stephen Cook was born 24th Dec 1855 the son of Stephen Cook, mariner and Grandson of John Cook, mariner and smuggler. He came from a family with a history of fishing. He married Sarah Ann Hughes 2nd June 1877 and had eight children. He was a member of the Lifeboat crew from the launch of the first Folkestone Lifeboat in 1893 and was Coxwain 1897 – July 1919. While he was Coxwain the lifeboat was launched 14 times and saved 19 lives.
He received four medals: Mercantile Marine for War service 1914–18; British War Medal; Silver Medal of the Lifeboat Institution and the medal of the French Society, Sauveteurs D.L.S.F.D.L.M. Ville de Paris. These are sadly no longer in the family and I would really like to know what happened to them. If they are in somebody′s collection I would really appreciate a photograph of them.
I will let The newspaper, his obituary and Funeral Service speak for his life.
FOLKESTONE, HYTHE, SANDGATE AND CHERITON HERALD, DECEMBER 6th 1919.
FOLKESTONE LIFEBOATCoxswain and Assistant Retire
Presentation to Mr S. Cook
(NOTE: The article began with the business of the Lifeboat committee. Mr S. Cook was Co–opted on to the lifeboat committee.)
It was stated that the Committee had received with much regret the resignation of Mr S Cook who had served for 21 ¾ years and his Assistant Mr Edmund Major. Mr William Henry Baker was elected the new Coxswain & Mr Walter Walters as Assistant Cox.
(This fragile newspaper could not be copied for full transcription of the long article.)
FOLKESTONE, HYTHE, SANDGATE AND CHERITON HERALD, DECEMBER 1ST 1923.
OBITUARYMR S. COOK
A FORMER COXSWAIN OF THE LIFEBOAT
We regret to state that MR STEPHEN (“STEVE”) COOK died on Wednesday, at 13, The Durlocks. He was sixty–eight years of age.
MR COOK was born at Folkestone and had resided here all his life, following the occupation of a fisherman. He was the nephew of the late MR WILLIAM COOK, a popular local temperance advocate and one of the first to adopt the blue ribbon badge associated with the temperance movement of many years ago.
The late “STEVE” COOK as he was more generally known, was very highly esteemed by those of his own calling, as he was by a large number of the inhabitants. No eulogy could be written of him better than that he was a good man and an upright citizen. He was blest with an even temperament, was slow of speech, and notable for his common sense. He was one of that type of men who by his sterling qualities draws others to him. If there was any trouble down the fishmarket way, or a problem that needed solution, instinctively those affected turned to “STEVE” COOK. His lips were never soiled with scandal: he always thought the best, not the worst, of anyone.
In his calling as a fisherman he had no peer in this port. He was owner of his boat, and what he did not know of the habits of fish and the currents and tides of the Channel was not worth knowing. He always held the idea that fishing ought to be a paying proposition, and he followed out that idea with success. There was a time when, if there were no fish about in these waters, he would sail his boat right down the Channel to the Devonshire or Cornish coasts, and there he would stay for a considerable period success generally being his reward.
For some years deceased was coxswain of the local lifeboat, The Leslie, and he was ever ready at duty′s call. It will be remembered that he figured prominently in the rescue of the crew of the fishing boat Good Intent (of which MR JOHN SAUNDERS was master). This little vessel and another from Eastbourne, named the Pride and Envy, were smashed to pieces one stormy night on the rocks. The crew of the former were rescued, but those on board the latter were drowned. “The Herald” of October 8th 1904, referring to the part STEVE took in the rescue said:
About four years ago deceased resigned the post of coxswain, and became an active member of the Committee of the local branch of the National Lifeboat Institution. He was also on the Committee of the Philip Sassoon Model Dwelling Association, and a member of the Conservative Association Executive Committee. MR COOK was one of the founders of the flourishing True Blue Friendly Society, which was founded by the REV. JEFFERY, the then Pastor of the Baptist Church. At the time of his death he was still on the Committee of the Society and one of its trustees.
MR COOK was presented with four decorations, viz. Mercantile Marine for War service 1914–18; British War Medal; Silver Medal of the Lifeboat Institution for services rendered on the occasion of the wreck of the Good Intent; and the medal of the French Society, Sauveteurs D.L.S.F.D.L.M. Ville de Paris.
The deceased, who was a member of the Baptist Church, was held in the highest esteem by the Pastor and the deacons.
The Funeral will take place on Monday afternoon.
FOLKESTONE, HYTHE, SANDGATE AND CHERITON HERALD,
back to Folkestone Lifeboat Page
back to Folkestone Page
back to main index