ServiceNumber: 10/305 ; 25/952
Force: NZEF; Royal Flying Corps
Born in Nelson November 16 1893 to Joseph Henry Cock and Elizabeth Mary (nee Symons).
Jack had a brother and two sisters.
Henry Chynoweth (Hal) Jack's elder brother enlisted 8 February 1918 and also served in WWI.
Grace born 11 July 1885, and Winifred.
Jack was educated at Nelson College 1906 – 1910.
Here he was active in the Nelson College Cadet Corps attaining rank of Sergeant.
Leaving College he spent the next three years studying in Europe.
Jack returned to New Zealand and took up a position as clerk in one of his father’s companies in Wanganui.
13 August: Enlisted as a private in the Wellington Infantry Division rather than waiting to get a commission.
15 October: Embarked with Main Body New Zealand Expeditionary Force from Wellington for Egypt.
12 December: Arrived Alexandria to continue training. Jack was always accepted as “one of the boys” in spite of his appearance and up-bringing.
He embarked and travelled to Gallipoli where on April 25 he took part in the landing on the shores, surviving the slaughter of those early days.
29 April: Whilst sniping in an exposed position, he took a serious gunshot wound to the shoulder (right scapula).
He was taken by hospital ship and admitted to Kaser–el–Aini Military Hospital, Cairo.
9 June: Embarked for NZ to recover. He returned home to Nelson where he made a full recovery.
10 October: Returned to duty with a commission as part of the NZ Rifle Brigade.
5 February: Embarked for Egypt with the NZRB.
31 May: Embarked for Armentieres, France where he was fighting as a sniper in the trenches when he was wounded for a second time with a serious gunshot wound to his forearm.
6 June: Embarked for England and was admitted to Hornchurch General Hospital.
24 June: Declared unfit for active service, placed on light duties only for three months.
Ordered back to NZ for camp duties; no more fighting for him but he had other ideas!
He met up with his old friend Don Harkness and they spent time in London trying to get him into flying school and in the end they were successful.
14 September: Transferred from NZEF with his commission to Royal Flying Corps as 2nd Lt.
23 November: Joined No. 5 Squadron, Castle Bromwich for flying training
16 February: School of Aerial Gunnery at Hythe.
3 April: Awarded his Pilots badge (his “Wings”).
11 April: Embarked for France and joined 60 Squadron, flying Nieuport biplanes.
Around this time Jack wrote a note to his parents with words of farewell and consolation to be read in case of his death.
14 April: 0830 takeoff, Jack was in a flight of five on offensive patrol in Douai area.
Approx 0915 they spotted an enemy two seater East of Douai and dived down to attack but enemy Justa Albatross scouts came to its aid and Binnie’s boys put up ‘a hell of a fight’.
Jack’s plane crashed west of Beaumont Railway Station and he was killed.
Much to everyone’s distress Jack was reported as missing in action for a period of four months. The records were searched in case he was a POW but nothing was found.
Having no identification, Jack had been buried by the Germans in the Beaumont Communal Cemetery North End, Pas de Calais.
One year later the Red Cross confirmed by letter that the British airman in Plot 39 was indeed 2nd Lt John Herbert (Jack) Cock.