Hook, Alfred Henry or Harry

(1850 - 1905 )

Local Connection:
Lived at Sydenham Hill.

War Service:
Private. 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment. (Later South Wales Borderers) Service Details: No. 1373 Private Alfred H.
He first joined the Monmouth Militia served for five years, before joining the 24th Regiment in March 1877. He saw service in the Kaffir War of 1877-8 and also served in the Zulu War 1879 where he won the Victoria Cross at Rorke's Drift. He retired from the regular army in June 1880 and joined the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers where he served for 20 years, gaining the final rank of Sergeant Instructor. He retired from the volunteers in 1904 and returned to Gloucestershire.

Awarded the Victoria Cross [now held by the South Wales Borderers Museum].
London Gazetted on 2nd May 1879.

Victoria Cross

Digest of Citation for Victoria Cross reads:
On 22nd and 23rd of January 1879 at Rorke's Drift, Natal, South Africa, a distant room of the hospital had been held for more than an hour by three privates, and when finally they had no ammunition left the Zulus burst in and killed one of the men and two patients. One of the men, Private J. Williams however succeeded in making a hole in the wall large enough to get through, and taking the last two patients into the next ward, where he found Private Hook. Working together; the two men, one holding the Zulus at a distance with his bayonet, while the other managed to knock through three more partitions; and they were able to bring eight patients into the inner line of defence.

Location of Memorial:
Memorials on grave at St Andrews Church, Churcham, Gloucestershire. Where his gravestone is a Cross mounted on a plinth surmounted with a laurel wreath, in the centre of which is engraved, the Victoria Cross. The inscription reads: // 'If our time is come let us die manfully for our brethren's sake, and not have a cause for reproach against our glory.'// He is also commemorated on the Havard Chapel, Brecon Cathedral, Wales.

He was the eldest son of Henry Hook [1828 Churcham, Gloucestershire] and Helen or Ellen Morris [abt 1831 born at Churcham, Gloucestershire ]. He was born on the 6th August 1850 and baptised 1 September 1850 at Churcham, Gloucestershire. He had 4 other siblings Mary Rebecca [Christened 1852], James Henry [Christened 1854], Henry Daniel [abt 1857], and Ellen [1860], all born in Churcham, Gloucestershire

His first married Comfort Jones [abt 1849 - 1900 all Newent ] in 1870 Aston Ingham and they had 3 children, Raymond [1871], Henrrietta [1873] and Julia [1876]. Comfort believing he had been killed in South Africa married David Meyrick 1895 in Gloucestershire Registration district. But in reality he was not dead and in 1881 Alfred Henry Hook was listed as Henry Hook (VC) and was a groom in Monmouth,

He remarried Ada Lettia Taylor [1863 – 1929] in 1897 at Islington, London. They had a daughter Victoria Catherine [1899 Islington].

He died on 12th March 1905 from pulmonary tuberculosis at Osborne Villas, Roseberry Avenue, Gloucester.

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