W.F. Cooke's Canadian 1914 Contract Colt 1911

5:25 PM Posted by Steven Milstone-Turner

I posted this pistol on www.canadiansoldiers.com and received the following information:

"That would be Lieutenant William Forrest Cooke, born Aug 26, 1882 in Hull Quebec. He attested as an Other Ranks solder and was assigned service number 102524, but was discharged almost right away to receive a commission. When he declared (attested) as a Lieutenant on Aug 21, 1915 in the 67th Battalion he was the president of Northern Lumber & Mercantile Co. Ltd. in Prince George B.C. He had previously served as a corporal in the Boer War. During the war he received field promotions to Captain (Oct 23, 1916) and Major (May 12, 1917). He transferred to the 54th Battn for a short time in May 1917, and then transferred to the CFC (167th Battn). He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel Jan 11, 1919, before demobilization. He was awarded the DSO Jan 1, 1918 (London Gazette 30563, dated Mar 8, 1918, pg. 2973), and was twice Mentioned in Despatches in 1917. He appears to have suffered two wounds at different times, but I don't have the details."

Shortly after I was able to do some more serious research using the Archives Canada site and managed to get a copy of Cooke's personal file.

The pistol was purchased from the B.C. near where Cooke would have resided after the war, however I found it interesting to learn he was born very near Ottawa, across the river in Hull, Quebec.

This was my first Canadian 1914 Contract Colt 1911.  I have since picked up a mint example, however this one has definitely seen action.  I'd like to add a few more named Canadian 1911's to my collection.

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For those who are not familiar with Canada's purchase of 5000 1911's in 1914 I would suggest tracking down a copy of Clive Law's book Canadian Military Handguns

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