George H. Cooke was born in Dungarvan on 24 June 1895. His parents were Thomas William Cooke and Emma Cooke (nee Harbourne). Thomas William opened up a watchmakers and jewellers shop in Lower Main Street around 1881. He later moved the premises up the street (opposite Shaws). His son John took over the business sometime after 1912. George was very academic in school. While at Bishop Foy's (Boy's) High School he won numerous mathematical prizes, including a sizarship in Trinity College, Dublin.
Bishop Foy's School was originally in Barronstrand Street, Waterford and after 1808 moved to Grantstown. While at school in Waterford, Cooke not only performed brilliantly in examinations, but for three years he was secretary to the football and cricket clubs. He was on the first fifteen at football and the first eleven at cricket. On leaving Trinity, Cooke took up a post with the Indian Civil Service on 26 October 1920. He was posted to Madras, where he served as Assistant Collector and Magistrate, Sub-Collector and Joint Magistrate. In 1922 he married Katherine Aitcheson Millar, and they had three children.
Cooke was for some years Collector at the Civil and Military Station at Bangalore and, in 1935 he was appointed Additional Joint Registrar of the Cooperative Societies. At the time of his death he was Secretary to the Education and Public Health Department. He died in June 1940 following an abdominal operation.
Author: William Fraher