Cooke, William Jordan (No. D/SSX 13584)

Cooke, William Jordan (Jordan)

Able Seaman

No. D/SSX 13584, HMS Courageous, Royal Navy

Killed in action on Sunday 17 September 1939 (aged 27)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, England (Panel 33 Column 2)

Comber and District War Memorial

First Comber Presbyterian Church


William Jordan Cooke was born on 31 May 1913 in the townland of Ballyloughan, Comber and he was a son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Cooke (nee Todd).  Joseph Cooke worked as a labourer and he and Elizabeth Todd were married on 7 November 1902 in Granshaw Presbyterian Church, Castlereagh, Belfast.  Joseph Cooke from Ballyloughan was a son of William Cooke, a labourer.  Lizzie Todd from Ballyloughan was a daughter of John Todd, a carpenter.

Joseph and Lizzie Cooke (nee Todd) had at least eight children:

Martha Prudence (born 1 June 1903 in Ballyloughan; died of whooping cough 10 July 1904)

John (born 10 June 1905 in Ballyloughan)

Harry (born 6 March 1908 in Ballyloughan)

Joseph (born 1 July 1910 in Ballyloughan; married Ina Duncan 15 August 1936)

William Jordan (born 31 May 1913 in Ballyloughan)

David Francis (born 29 March 1915 in Ballyloughan)

Michael (born 6 July 1917 in Ballyloughan)

Thomas (born 8 June 1919 in Ballyloughan)

During the Second World War William Jordan Cooke served in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Courageous.  This ship was launched in 1916 as a battle cruiser and then converted into an aircraft carrier in the 1920s.

Aged 27, Able Seaman Jordan Cooke (No. D/SSX 13584) died on Sunday 17 September 1939 when HMS Courageous was torpedoed by the German submarine U-29 south west of Ireland in the Western Approaches (the sea-area due west of the English Channel).   HMS Courageous sank at 7.40 pm, within 15 minutes of being hit, and more than 500 lives were lost.

Able Seaman William Jordan Cooke (No. D/SSX 13584) is commemorated on Comber and District War Memorial, in First Comber Presbyterian Church and on the Plymouth Naval Memorial in Devon.

His brother Joseph and sister-in-law Ina were living in Comber Road, Ballygowan.