The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Trooper Ira Cooke

Ancestor Details

Ancestor's Name: Ira Cooke

Ancestor's date of birth: 01/01/1873

Ancestor's date of death: 12/10/1943

Cause of Death: Age related

Service and Life Before the Boer War: He was born in Cow Flat, NSW. By profession he was an agricultural worker although at one point he held a small lease called'Jericho'. He was well known in the Bathurst district pre war for being involved in holding shooting parties to reduce the numbers of Kangaroos, wallabies and hares and the results of these shoots were reported in the Bathurst press

Service Number: 961

Colony or State of enlistment: NSW Place of Enlistment: Bathurst

Unit: 2nd New South Wales Mounted Rifles

Rank attained in Boer War: TPR, Date Effective: 01/03/1901

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): No evidence of post Boer War service

Murray Page: 113

Contingent: Fifth New South Wales

Ship: SS Custodian or Maplemore, Date of Sailing: 17/03/1901

Memorial details: Detail not provided

Awards/Decorations/Commendations: Queen's South Africa Medal with Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902 clasps.

Personal Characteristics: Detail not provided.

Reasons to go and fight: Detail not provided.

Details of service in war: Served in the western Transvaal from 23 April to 1 October 1901, the principal operations being the capture of Potgieters convoy on the Vaal 24 May, 1901; capture by the regiment of General De la Rey's convoy of 106 wagons, and a large quantity of cattle and ammunition.

Served in the eastern Transvaal engaged in many night marches in resulting in over 1 000 prisoners being captured.

The during the year of 1901 his unit travelled 6,400 kilometres in every part of the Transvaal. One specially noteworthy feature was that, whilst constantly engaging the enemy only 18 men were taken prisoners and of them the large number were on the first fight at Korannafontein and through no fault of the men. No column made more night marches; one march made on the night of 11 March 1902 from Brugspruit over the difficult Wilge River to Dorneck, a distance of 72 kilometres which, with the return journey makes a distance of 120 kilometres is worthy of mention.

Service and life after the Boer War: He returned on the SS Aurania 4 June 1902

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Robert Ira Matthews, Ourimbah NSW 2258
Relationship to Ancestor: Grand Son

Name of Descendant: Ryan Ira Cooke, Rockhampton QLD
Relationship to Ancestor: Great Grandson


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields