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Photograph depicting William Frank Cook, RAN

Date: September 1936
Dimensions:
Overall: 357 × 250 mm
Image: 205 × 150 mm
Medium: Photograph
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Rhod Cook
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: ANMS1445[126]

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    Description
    Photograph of Frederick Norton Cook as a Commander in the Royal Australian Navy, c. 1942. 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 Commander dates to the Second World War, and depicts the types of uniform worn by RAN 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. At the time Cook appeared in this photograph, he was Naval Force Commander of Operation Biting, a Combined Operations raid on a German radar installation at Bruneval in northern France in 1942. For his role in the raid, Cook was awarded the DSC, and was later tasked with organising and commanding Australia's first Combined Operations Training Centre.

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