Date Posted... Feb 18th 2022
Recently I came across a photo of the School’s Cadet Corps Band in 1917 on eBay. What particularly caught my attention was that they were marching at the front of the School where the school chapel would be built ten years later, giving a view up the side of the old schoolroom to the chemistry lab (now the Sixth Form Café) and the fives court. An ‘action’ shot of the band is quite unusual, the only other images of the cadet corps are posed group photographs.
From this arose the question of where did this photo come from?
With the cadet corps photo was one of a boy, labelled ‘Cliff’ and a one of a group labelled ‘Truro boys’, who I vaguely recognised from previous research in the school archive. There was also another set of photos from the same source which included a boy in cadet uniform, labelled ‘Truro College Cadet Corps 1917’, alongside his brother serving in the RAF. The photos obviously came from the same photograph album at one time and had a connection to Redruth c.1918.
The first step was to see how many pupils called Clifford were at the school at the time, in 1917; there were only a couple of possibilities, and only one came from Redruth – Clifford V Cook (TS 1917-20). His brother Eric Vallance Cook also attended the school from 1917 to 1920. A little more digging in the archive and EV Cook appears in one of the formal band photos from 1919.
A bit of searching online in the 1911 census confirmed there were three Cook brothers: Cliff the youngest, Dick the oldest and Eric the middle – the cadet and likely owner of the photos. Their father, also confirmed by the school admission register, was a Wesleyan Minister, Rev. Vallance Cook. Sometime in the mid 1910s the family moved from Bristol to Redruth.
After leaving school, Eric Cook became a journalist before becoming an Anglican minister. He was Vicar of Worle, in Somerset, in the 1950s. His brother, Clifford, left Truro and continued his education in Birmingham.