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C1.12

Grave photoHerbert Edward and Edith Maud Cooke (nee Harrison) Also commemorated: Wing Commander Humphrey Desmond Cooke (war memorial inside church) Herbert Edward Cooke was born on 11 April 1880 in Buxton, Norfolk, the son of Frederic and Ada nee Bradford, and baptised there on 28 May. His father was at that time the curate of Buxton. Herbert had three younger brothers, all of whom were born in Shropshire, where their father Reverend Frederic had by then become vicar. Later Frederic became Rector of Westbury as did his son, Ernest, and so when Herbert, too, was ordained the close family contained three ministers of the church. Herbert was educated at Oxford, and in 1903 became a curate at Leamington Parish Church. In March 1910 he became Vicar of Stoneleigh and married Edith Maud Harrison on 29 June 1910 at Forden, Montgomeryshire, the Bishop of St. Asaph officiating. They had two sons, Reginald James and Humphrey Desmond, and a daughter, Dorothy Monica. An extremely popular and influential vicar, he volunteered as a chaplain during the Great War, and had previously set up a Church Lads' Brigade. He was vicar of Stoneleigh for 38 years, Rural Dean of Kenilworth from 1937-48, and an Honorary Canon of Coventry from 1946-1948. After his retirement in 1948 he was made a Canon Emeritus of Coventry Cathedral. He died in Leintwardine, Shropshire, where he had retired, on 18 November 1953, but was buried at Stoneleigh. In 1956 a pair of church gates was installed in his memory, and a ceremony of blessing was conducted by the Bishop. Edith Maud Harrison was born on 5 September 1879 in Welshpool, one of the nine children of George Devereux Harrison and his wife Emily nee Naylor. She was a hard-working and loyal vicar's wife who contributed a great deal to the life of Stoneleigh, in particular the Mothers' Union and the Women's Institute. Sadly, her younger son, Wing Commander Humphrey Desmond Cooke, was killed in action on 26 June 1942 and is buried at Ohlsdorf, Hamburg, Germany, but is commemorated on the war memorial within Stoneleigh church. She wrote in later years of her many happy memories of Stoneleigh and its people; she died on 21 September 1970 in Surrey, at the age of 91.

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