Charles was born 1892 in Hertford, Herts. Son of William Henry Cook a Corn & Coal Merchant and Elizabeth Rebecca Cook. His father died in 1901 and it is probable that Charles was at a very small school in Cromer (8 pupils!), as a boarder, and is said to have been privately educated in Hythe after that. 1911 Census shows him aged 19 years working in the family Corn & Coal Merchants business. His mother is shown as a widow and the head of the family. Home address is given as Old Cross House, Hertford, Herts. His Medal card also shows him with the Rank of Lieutenant however this does not appear on any other documents.