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Reproduced courtesy of Rhod Cook

Midshipman's Journal belonging to William Frank Cook, RAN

Date: 1934-1936
Overall: 325 × 230 × 60 mm
Medium: Paper, ink, glue, sailcloth canvas
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Rhod Cook
Object Copyright: © Rhod Cook
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Journal
Object No: 00054699

User Terms

    Midshipman's Journal belonging to W.F. Cook, RAN whilst serving aboard HMAS Australia (II) as a seconded naval officer to the British Royal Navy in the years immediately prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. This object is one of a large collection of documents, photographs, uniforms, ship badges and ephemera associated with the Royal Australian Navy service of brothers William Cook and Frederick Cook. Both men entered service prior to the Second World War, were seconded to the Royal Navy, and underwent training at Greenwich and Portsmouth. Frederick Cook later gained fame as the only Australian survivor of HMS Royal Oak, torpedoed by a German U-boat in October 1939. William Cook was the youngest commander of an Australian destroyer during the Second World War, and was First Lieutenant of HMAS Wyatt Earp, the primary research vessel for the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition in 1947-48.
    SignificanceWilliam Cook's Midshipman's Journal dates to the immediate pre-Second World War period, and is particularly significant because it features several exquisitely detailed hand-drawn maps, diagrams and sketches that compliment his chronicle of HMAS Australia's voyage to England and the Mediterranean between January 1934 and July 1936. Extensively illustrated documents of this kind are incredibly rare.

    William Cook had a distinguished naval career, and served aboard notable Australian warships during the Second World War, including HMAS Perth (I), HMAS Voyager (I) and HMAS Nizam. He was mentioned in despatches for his service aboard Voyager during the Greek campaign in 1941. Awarded command of Nizam at the age of 28, Cook became the youngest Australian to command a destroyer during the conflict. He was later present at Tokyo Bay (while in command of Nizam) during the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on 2 September 1945. He later served as First Lieutenant of HMAS Wyatt Earp, the first Australian vessel to conduct Antarctic research in the immediate post-war period.
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