Joe Cook was born into a large family of nine children in Lincoln on the 12th of June 1938.

SSgt (SQMS) KJ Cook
SSgt (SQMS) KJ Cook

On his seventieth birthday, he climbed Mount Snowdon (884 metres) in aid of the Marie Curie Cancer Care (which was his chosen charity) and raised a good sum of money.

Joe died of cancer on the 17th of February 2011 aged seventy-two.

His wife Karin’s comments to me recently were that to her the greatest irony was that he climbed Snowdon in aid of the cancer charity not knowing that he was to die of cancer two years later. “Such is life”!

Joe enlisted into the Boys Squadron Royal Armoured Corps at the age of 16 years on the 5th July 1954 and was stationed at Bovington Camp. He trained as a Gunner/ Signaller. He played various sports and was selected and run as a cross-country runner for Dorset County.

On attaining the age of 18 years he became eligible for adult service and joined The 4th Queen’s Own Hussars at Hohne BAOR in October 1956.

In October 1958 The 4th Hussars amalgamated with The 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars and became The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars. Joe rebadged to the newly formed Regiment and served with them when they left Germany for service in Aden in November 1961 and consequently Malaya, Singapore, Brunei and Borneo from October 1962 to September 1964.

In September 1964 the QRIH returned to Germany (Wolfenbuttel). During this posting, Joe was promoted to L/Cpl in November 1964 and met and eventually married his wife Karin on the 29th of August 1965.

The Regiment returned to the U.K. in 1967 and was stationed first in Tidworth and then in the Bovington/Lulworth area of Dorset. Joe was promoted to full Corporal in February 1968.

The Irish Hussars were on the move again in June 1970 and returned to BAOR this time to Paderborn, as a tank regiment. Joe was duly promoted to Sergeant in July of that year.

He served in Cyprus with the UN Peacekeeping Force from September 1971 until April 1972 and then returned to Paderborn as a Troop Sergeant. He was promoted S/Sgt in May 1975 and appointed SQMS.

In spite of a somewhat mercurial rise and fall as a L/Cpl and the occasional enforced holiday in MB8 at Hohne Joe was discharged to the Reserve in the rank of S/Sgt on the 18th July 1978 having served as man and boy for 24 years 45 days.

He was awarded the GSM with clasp Borneo and the Cyprus Peace Keeping Medal.

In civilian life Joe was employed as a Lorry Driver, initially he drove long distance but later because of the disruption to family life he worked more locally. His interests were gardening and very much an outdoors and fitness person.

He was a member of the British Legion, and avid reader of facts more than fiction and solving various types of puzzles with his wife, Karin.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. A short history of The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars
  3. Aden and The Persian Gulf 1961
  4. Malaya and Borneo 1962-64