George Cooke (British Army officer)

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Sir George Cooke
Born 1768
Died 3 February 1837
Harefield Park, Harefield
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank Major General
Battles/wars French Revolutionary Wars
Napoleonic Wars
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath

Major-General Sir George Cooke KCB (1768 – 3 February 1837), was a British Army officer who commanded the 1st Division, under overall command of the Prince of Orange, at the Battle of Waterloo.


He was the son and heir of George John Cooke of Harefield, in Middlesex, who descended from a line of prothonotaries of the Court of Common Pleas. His mother was Penelope Boyer, daughter of Admiral Boyer.[1] Educated at Harrow and at the military school in Caen, Normandy, in 1784 Cooke was appointed an ensign in the 10th Grenadier Guards.[2] His brothers were General Henry Frederick Cooke and naval officer Edward Cooke while his sister was Penelope Anne Cooke.

He achieved his lieutenancy in 1792, followed shortly by his captaincy. In March 1794, he joined the Guards in Flanders and was appointed aide-de-camp to Major General Sir Samuel Hulse. He served throughout the French Revolutionary Wars, in Flanders and Holland, at the conclusion of which he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel of his regiment, despite being severely wounded in 1799.[1] From 1803 until early 1805, he held the post of assistant adjutant-general of the north west district. After receiving the rank of brevet colonel in 1808, he participated in the ill-fated 1809 Schelde expedition. After posts in Cadiz, he went to Holland in 1813 with the Brigade of Guards and took part in the ill-fated Siege of Bergen op Zoom the following year where he was described as a "prudent and humane commander".[3]

In 1815 was on Wellington's staff at the Battle of Waterloo, where he lost his right arm.[1] For his services at Waterloo he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) on 22 June 1815 and a Knight of St George of Russia.[1]

He became Lieutenant-Governor of Portsmouth and General Officer Commanding South-West District in 1819.[2]

He died, unmarried, at Harefield Park on 3 February 1837.[2]


Military offices
Preceded by
Sir James Kempt
GOC South-West District
Succeeded by
Sir James Lyon