|Ranks Held||Captain, Major, Second Lieutenant|
|Birth Place||United Kingdom: England, Staffordshire|
|Death Place||Australia: New South Wales, Sydney|
|Service||Australian Imperial Force|
|Unit||2nd Australian Infantry Battalion|
|Conflict/Operation||First World War, 1914-1918|
Published in London Gazette in 1919-07-11
Published in London Gazette in 1916-01-28
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-10-30
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1916-04-06
Major George Sydney Cook
George Sydney Cook was born 8 March 1886 in Staffordshire, England, to Mary (née Turner) and Joseph Cook. The family emigrated to New South Wales later that year, settling in Lithgow, NSW. Cook’s father Joseph served as Defence Minister from 1909 to 1910, and was Prime Minister of Australia from 24 June 1913 to 17 September 1914. Cook was educated at Sydney High School.
Cook was working as an architect in the Department of Home Affairs before the outbreak of the First World War, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 2nd Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force on 23 August 1914. On 19 September 1914 he married Elsie Sheppard at Burwood Methodist Church, Sydney. He embarked from Sydney on 18 October 1914 on board HMAT Suffolk. His wife Elsie, having trained as a nurse at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, enlisted under her maiden name and sailed for Egypt in 1914, serving with the No. 2 Australian General Hospital in Cairo.
At the Gallipoli landing with the 2nd Battalion, Cook was wounded. During the battle of Lone Pine, Cook received a gunshot wound to the head sometime between 6 and 8 August 1915. He was evacuated to the 19th General Hospital in Alexandria, and then to England; in March 1916 he was invalided to Australia. He returned to the war, embarking for France from Sydney on 9 September 1916 aboard HMAT Euripides, and rejoined his unit at the front. Cook was mentioned in despatches twice, on 28 January 1916 and 11 July 1919. He received a recommendation for the Distinguished Service Order on 27 September 1918 for his actions during the attack on Hargicourt.
After returning to Australia, Cook was appointed Commonwealth Works Director in Perth. In 1940 he was transferred to Sydney, and was given responsibility for Commonwealth defence works during the Second World War. Elsie Cook founded the antique business Grafton Galleries in 1945, which continues to be run by the Cook family.
George Sydney Cook died in Sydney in 1972.