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Picture of Norman Douglas Cooke
Norman Douglas Cooke
Bugler - Service Number 2/713

Norman was born on the 26th of September 1894 the son of Frederick Cooke and Evelyn Mary Cooke. He was born in Cambridge and lived in Dominion Street, and went to school locally. On enlistment, he served as a Private and a Bugler in the Auckland Regiment, 16th Waikato Company. At the time of enlistment his address was Buckland, Auckland. After training he embarked on the 16th of October, 1914, on the transport HMNZT 8 or 12, the SS.Star of India or SS.Waimana destination Suez. On the 8th of May the Auckland Regiment was ordered into attack in the direction of Krithia village. The plan called for a dawn attack. For whatever reason dawn, found them still behind our own lines with open ground to cross to reach their own front line. As the troops rushed across, there were several casualties and they lost the element of surprise. When they reached the British front line it was not clear where they were to go other than forward to a crest 700 yards away. In front of them was a field of wild flowers called the 'Daisy Patch". All was peaceful but on the whistle, the first line went over the top and a hail of rifle and machine gun fire opened up, a few men got across the daisy patch and took cover. The second wave then set off, but were shot down to a man. The third wave also attempted to cross but most were cut down. The Daisy Patch was covered in the dead, the dying and the wounded. Many soldiers risked their lives trying to bring in the wounded and many died in the attempt. They had advanced some 300 yards. The Aucklanders launched another attack at 5pm and faced still more horrendous fire. The Battalion had been cut to pieces in a day and was no longer an effective force and was withdrawn to recover. Norman Douglas Cooke was killed on that day, aged 21. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Memorial at the Twelve Tree Copse cemetery.