Sunday, January 21, 2018

Alton John Cork

Serial Number and Rank: 2378, Private
Birth:  1896 Milton. 1896/32273
Parents:  Walter Daniel Cork and Elizabeth Sarah Jones
Enlisted:  30 July 1915 Milton/ Liverpool Holdsworthy.
Enlisted with his cousins Ambrose Jackson and William John Jones
Next of Kin:  Fa. Walter Cork of Myrtle Street Milton
Service:  2nd Division 19th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement. KIA:  25th May 1916
Burial:  Brewery Orchard Cemetery Nord, France. Panel IV. C. 23
Milton War MemorialHonour Rolls:  Kendall Cottage Memorial – To Our Fallen Comrades
Croobyar Public School
RSL Honour Roll
Milton Towm Memorial
Milton Primary School as Atton
Height: 5′ 8½”, 140 lbs, fair complexion, hazel eyes, brown hair.
Victory Medal – 19341,  British War medal – 19412 and 1914 – 1915 Star – 17083
Memorial scroll sent to Fa. D. W. Cork (now of Berry NSW) on 14 September 1921 – number 311093.
Memorial plaque sent to Fa. D. W Cork 21 April 1922.

“Noblest duty of all – the defence of his Country”

Alton John Cork was born in 1896 the son of Walter Daniel Cork and his late wife Elizabeth Sarah nee Jones. He enlisted with his cousin and William John Jones on July 30, 1915 at Milton, then they went to training camp at Liverpool. His father Walter lived in Myrtle Street in 1915 but later moved to Berry.

Both Alton and William Jones (Big Jack) were assigned to the 19th Battalion and by March 1916 they were in the training camp in Egypt. From April 1916, the midpoints of the Great War, the Australian units had begun to arrive in France.

Big Jack was with his cousin was with private Alton Cork when Alton was killed on May 25, 1916 in France.  A shell passed just over them, but the back blast did the damage, several others beside Alton were also killed and wounded.

Alton is buried at the Brewery Orchard Cemetery Nord, France. Panel IV. C. 23. The cellar of the brewery was used as a dressing station and the cemetery was started in the orchard nearby in November 1914. It was sheltered from enemy observation by ruined houses and continued in use until January 1918 and 339 Australians are buried there.

His death notice in the Milton Ulladulla Times newspaper reported:  “The sad news has reached Milton that Alton, son of Mr. Walter Cork, and grandson of Mrs. Gates snr.  had been killed in action in France. Alton enlisted about twelve months ago, and was among the first of the Australians to go across to France from Egypt. His father had a letter from him about three weeks ago, in which he stated they were then right up against it. Our sincere sympathy goes out to the bereaved father, grandmother, and sisters and brothers. Their consolation is that their boy died in the discharge of the highest and noblest duty of all the defence of his country and kith and kin”.

Alton name is listed on many local WW1 honour rolls: Kendall Cottage Memorial – To Our Fallen Comrades, Milton Town Memorial, Milton Ulladulla RSL Honour Roll, Croobyar Public School and Milton Primary School. His 1914 – 1915 Star, British War medal and Victory Medal, along with the Memorial scroll and plaque were sent to his father who had moved to Berry.

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