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Photograph depicting Lieutenant Frederick Cook, RAN

Date: 1926
Medium: Photograph, paper, ink, pencil, wood, glass, metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Rhod Cook
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00054696

User Terms

    Photograph of Frederick Norton Cook as a Royal Australian Navy Lieutenant in his dress uniform, 1926. 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.
    SignificanceThe photographic portrait of Frederick Cook as a RAN Lieutenant dates to the interwar years, and is particularly significant because it depicts the types of dress uniform worn by RAN junior officers at this time. It is one of three dated photographs in the collection that depict Cook in naval uniform at different phases of his career.

    Frederick Cook served with distinction during the Second World War and was mentioned in despatches twice. He was also presented to King George IV and awarded the DSC for gallantry. He was also the only Australian aboard HMS Royal Oak when it was torpedoed at Scapa Flow in September 1939, and one of only 400 of Royal Oak's complement of 1200 to survive the ship's loss.

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