Edgar was the youngest of twelve children born to Martha (nee Stone) and Samuel Hook. The family had lived in Newton Flotman and Shotesham St Mary but when Edgar was born on 4 June 1886 the family were living in Saxlingham Nethergate. His father was a farm labourer. He was baptised in St. Mary’s Church, Saxlingham Nethergate on 5 December 1886.
Edgar’s siblings were
William born 1868
Walter born 1869
Louis Henry (known as Harry) born 1870
Annie born 1872
Samuel born 1873
Louisa born 1875
Phyllis born 1877
Alice Amelia born 1878
Amy Martha and Harriet Ellen born 1881, died the same year within 3 weeks of each other.
Hilda born 1884.
In 1901 Edgar was15 years old and was helping in a brickyard. There was a brick works near the ruined church in Saxlingham Thorpe. By 1911 he was a team man on a farm but still living at home.
In December 1912 he married Blanche Rosina Heazle, born 24 February 1889, in St. Mary’s Church, Saxlingham. Her family lived in Saxlingham and she was a dressmaker.
They had three children,
Edgar T S born 1914,
Ethel Blanche born 10 June 1920,
Joyce E born 8 September 1921.
Edgar was in the 1/4th Territorial Battalion Norfolk Regiment and he became a corporal. His service numbers were 1755 and 200121.
His service records have not survived. He did however serve from the beginning of hostilities until the end of the war. He is one of the few people to receive a Territorial Force War Medal. Only 33,944 of these medals were issued and he is the only man from Saxlingham Nethergate to receive one.
The criteria for qualifying for one of these medals were one of the following:
- an individual in a Territorial battalion had agreed to serve overseas before September 1914
- they served outside of the UK from 5 August 1914 to 12 November 1918 inclusive
- they were serving on 4 August 1914
- they had completed 4 years in a Territorial battalion before 4 August 1914 and had re-joined on or before 30 September 1914
It is not known which of the above applied to Edgar Hook.
As soon as war was declared on 5th August 1914 the 1/4th Territorial Battalion Norfolk Regiment was mobilised. They spent the next few months training in Essex and Suffolk. In July 1915 they embarked on S.S Aquitania from Liverpool to the Dardenelles. They arrived there on 9 August 1915.
The countryside in which they were fighting was difficult with high hedges, deep ditches and forest in the background which gave cover for snipers. There was also a problem with a lack of water for the troops. By September the number of men in the Battalion fit to fight had been reduced to 376 with 218 in hospital, many suffering from dysentery. In November there was a great blizzard in the area and by December the number of fit men had gone down to 170.This was due to illness and the adverse weather and living conditions. On 15 December the Battalion retreated and left for Egypt.
There they remained during 1916 defending the Suez Canal. In 1917 they were involved in fighting in Palestine which resulted in the taking of Jerusalem on 9th December 1917. They remained in Palestine during 1918 and in September of that year moved northwards ending up in Beirut in November 1918.
At the end of the war Edgar returned to Saxlingham Nethergate. In 1920 he was living with his wife at 2 Mill Cottages, Pitts Hill, Saxlingham
He lived at the same address for several years as in 1939 he and Blanche were living at the same address. Edgar was working as a horseman on a farm. Their son Edgar was living with them. He was working as a chauffeur/gardener. Ethel also was living at home. Joyce was working as a parlour maid at the The Hall on Saxlingham Green.
William Baker, Edgar Hook, Benjamin Cudden, November 8th 1931 in the grounds of the Old Hall, Saxlingham Nethergate.
Blanche died in 1969. Edgar died aged 95 on 26 September 1981. At the time of his death his address was The Street, Saxlingham Nethergate.
England & Wales, Birth, marriages, death index 1837-2005
British Army Medal Roll Index cards 1914-1920
1939 Register – www.findmypast.co.uk
UK Census collection
Norfolk Electoral Rolls, Absent Voters List, Saxlingham Nethergate
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar 1858-1995
Norfolk, Church of England Diocesan Baptismal Records, Saxllingham Nethergate.
St Mary’s Church Saxlingham Marriage records (transcribed by Mary Muir)
Wikipedia- Territorial Force War Medal information
Photograph courtesy of Dougie Cudden.
The History of the Norfolk Regiment. Vol.II. – F. Loraine Petre. Norwich: Jarrold and Son Ltd. The Empire Press
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