Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 27, 1885
Place of BirthOttawa, Ontario
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMrs Mae Cook, Wife, 1945 Quebec Street, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Trade / CallingGroom
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number115874
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion31st Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at Enlistment1945 Quebec Street, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 21, 1916
Age at Enlistment31
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Decorations and MedalsMilitary Medal
Death Details
Date of Death19560706
Age at Death71
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Cook, Joseph Emanuel

According to his attestation papers, Joseph Emanuel Cook was born on 27 February 1885 in Ottawa, Ontario.  His marriage records list his parents as Emmanuel Cook/Emmanuel Vanasse and Adeline Normand/Delina Larment.

The 1911 Canadian census shows that Joseph was working in Cranbrook, British Columbia as a timekeeper for a Tie Company. By 1916 he had moved to Regina.

On 21 January 1916, Joseph enlisted with the 10th Canadian Mounted Rifles in Regina, Saskatchewan. He listed his occupation as groom and that his next of kin was his wife Mae (although Ontario Marriage records indicate he married widow, May Rasmia after the war). His unit embarked from Halifax on 23  April 1916.  When he reached England, Joseph was transferred to the 9th Reserve Battalion until being drafted to the 31st Battalion in September of 1916. He arrived at his unit in France on 15 October 1916. On April 9 1917 Joseph was buried by a shell explosion and rendered unconscious for eight hours.  He spent three days in field hospital before returning to the trenches and had difficulty with his hearing for some time afterwards. In July of 1917 Joseph was invalided back to England suffering from ‘trench fever’. While there he was posted to the Alberta Regimental Depot in Bramshott.   Joseph returned to the 31st Battalion in France in April of 1918.   In August of that year he was promoted to Lance Corporal. In September he was shelled, gassed and wounded resulting in another transfer to England and the awarding of a Military Medal.  Joseph returned to Canada aboard the SS Carmania in February of 1919.  At the time of his discharge on 20 March 1919, Joseph had the rank of Corporal and stated his intended residence was Kenora, Ontario.

After the war Joseph came to the Kenora area and worked as a trapper and a cook in various lumber camps. He also operated a tourist camp on Black Sturgeon Lake, just outside Kenora. It is not known what happened to his marriage to May Rasmia, but in the 1921 Canadian census he is listed as single. On 10 May 1922 Joseph married Vanna Halley in Kenora.  An infant daughter was born and died when just 4 1/2 days old in August of 1922.  Joseph and Vanna also had a son, Paul, who died at age 16 in 1941. At some point Joseph’s marriage to Vanna dissolved but he continued to live on his property at Black Sturgeon Lake. He frequently worked at the polls during elections.

Joseph died in his rural home in Jaffray-Mellick (just outside Kenora) on 06 July 1956 and is buried in Kenora in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery. His Veteran Death card listed his next of kin as his adopted son Paul Halley Cook. His property went to his nephew, Albert Vanasse.

Cook-Joseph-Emanuel-2 Cook-Joseph-Emanuel-3 Cook-Joseph-Emanuel-4 Cook-Joseph-Emanuel-5 Cook-Joseph-Emanuel-6 Cook-Joseph-Emmanuel-7

Photos of Joseph courtesy of the Vanasse family.

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