Joseph’s father was William Cooke who was a coal miner, his mother was Margaret Fletcher. He was one of 5 children.
When he was 13, in 1873, his father died and he became the breadwinner. [which means he supported his family] by working as a pit boy in the coal mines. He grew up in poverty. Due to becoming the family wage-earner he became very self-confident and had a strong sense of obligation.
During his teens he became a Primitive Methodists and dropped the 'e' from his surname, when he converted. He did’nt drink or gamble, play sport and studied at hoem to improve himself.
He married Mary Turner, 8 th of August, 1885 in Wostanton, England and had 8 children, 5 sons and 3 daughters.
Joseph's Children are called ’GS’, Albert, Joseph, John, Annette, Winifred, Cecil, Raymond and Constance.
Founding member of the NSW Australian Labor Party.
Cooke was elected to the NSW Legislative Assembly 3 July,1891 until 11 June 1901, in the seat Hartley, the first Labor seat in any Australian Parliament. In 1893 Joseph was chosen as leader of the free trade faction. Joseph quit in 1894, due to not agreeing with the party’s decisions. Cook was re-elected in 1894 and 1898.
He became an Independent and then a Freetrade party member in 1895.
In 1901 Cook resigned to enter federal politics at Federation in 1901.
Cook won the seat of Parramatta at the first federal general election on 29 March 1901, and held the seat through the next six general elections.
Joseph held leadership position in various parties during his 20 years in federal parliament. He was deputy leader of the Free Trade group from 1904 to 1908, then its leader in 1908. He was Minister for Defence from June 1909 to April 1910 in the fusion government, and Deputy Leader of the Opposition (the Liberal Party) from 1910 to 1913, and became leader of the Liberal Party in 1913.
Cook became Liberal Prime Minister following election on 31 st May ,1913. The Liberal party won by one seat and only had a majority in the House of Representatives, but he failed to win control of the Senate.
He was Prime Minister when First World War was declared. On 5 th of September, 1914 Labor took control of Federal Parliament and Cook’s term as Prime Minister, on 17 th of September 1914.
Cook was in the opposition from September 1914 and his Liberal Party fully supported the war policies of Fisher and William Hughes', Labor governments. In October 1916 Cook lead the Liberal Party to combine with the National Labor group, forming the Nationalist Party on 7 February 1917. Cook became Deputy Prime Minister under Hughes, and also took on the Navy portfolio. At the general election on 5 May 1917 the new party under Hughes and Cook won.
In April 1918, Cook travelled to the UK to the Imperial Conference, and then to France for the Peace Conference in 1919. After his return to Australia, Cook became Treasurer in July 1920, and served in this portfolio until quitting parliament in November 1921.
Cook resigned from parliament on 11 November 1921 to take up an appointment as Australian High Commissioner in London. He retained this position until his retirement on 10 May 1927. He then returned to Sydney and lived there privately until his death on 30 July 1947.
Cook was nicknamed the most humourless' of the prime ministers.
He was the first Prime Minister to lead a Liberal Party government.
Overcame an alcohol addiction and remained alcohol free while in office as Prime Minister.
Cooke was a founding member of New South Wales Labor Party, then a member of the other 3 major parties 1901-21.
One of the 'Australian Lincolns' – He was one of the Prime Ministers whose early poverty meant they he had left school as a young boy.
‘ GCMG’ means Knight Grand Cross of the order of St Michael and St George.
Sir Joseph was honoured in a Stamp Series Australian Prime Ministers ( Second Issue) – Sir Joseph Cook is the 4 th stamp on the right Issued: 8 March 1972 Printer: Note Printing Branch, Reserve Bank of Australia, Melbourne.
Sir Joseph Cook was a strong leader and had many supporters on his side. Joseph was the 6 th prime minister of Australia. Sir Joseph Cook was born on 7 th of December, 1860 in Staffordshire, England and died 30 th of July, 1947 in Sydney. He was a Founding member of the NSW Australian Labor Party. Cook won the seat of Parramatta at the first federal general election on 29 March 1901, and held the seat through the next six general elections. Cook became Liberal Prime Minister following election on 31 st May ,1913.