Peter Cooke

Member Profile

First Name
Peter DF
PHANZA Joining Date
NZ defence, industrial, institutional, heritage, Mt Cook
About Me

I live in Wellington, where the archives are. This is my parentage: Geoff Cooke and Patricia Cooke (nee Lett). Of stout Worcestershire farming stock, Geoff Cooke’s people moved to Kenya in the 1920s. He served in WWII with the Northamptonshire Regt on the Rhine and Military Police in Dusseldorf. Back in Kenya Geoff organised the Embu Guard during the Mau Mau before becoming District Officer, Kikuyu. Patricia Lett was born to William Lett OBE (for his WWII role in Customs & Excise in Northern Ireland). After 6 years in theatre in London Patricia joined the British Army and, commissioned a lieutenant in the WRAC, served in GHQ Nairobi during the Mau Mau. She subsequently had a career in NZ education, theatre and Shakespeare. I was born in Cambridge, UK, 1958 and nurtured in Kenya, then after seven years, Tauranga, NZ. I read history at Massey University, completing a BA and BA Hons with a dissertation on ‘NZ Defence Policy 1919-41’. My current role is as a self-employed historian. Carol Comber and I have two children. For profiles see Phanzine, March 2002; With a Passion (Fitzsimons & Beckford, 2001); Shell Oceania, July 2002, Dec 2004 Contact 0274 512 312 Box 9724, Wellington 6141, NZ

Publications and Research

The Gunners, Official History of Royal NZ Artillery, Raupo, 2008 --All Formed Up, History of Wellington RSA 1916-2007, WRSA, 2008 --Corps history of the Royal NZ Electrical & Mechanical Engineers 1942-96, draft 2007 --Regimental history of the 3rd Auckland (Countess of Ranfurly’s) & Northland Battalion, RNZIR, 1918-todate, draft 2008 --Defending New Zealand – Ramparts on the Sea 1840-1950s. Defence of NZ Study Group, Wellington, 2000-02. 3 volumes --Military Heritage in Wellington Region, Wellington Branch Ctee NZ HPT guide, 2004 --No Better Death. The Great War Diaries of William G Malone. Edited by John Crawford with Peter Cooke. Reed 2005, launched by the PM 8 August 2005 --Forts & Works, Defence of NZ Study Group, editor 1996-todate --Fighting Vehicles & Weapons of Rhodesia, 1965-80, with Peter Locke. P&P Publishing, 1995. --National War Memorial, historical background for Boffa Misekll’s Conservation Plan, Ministry for Culture & Heritage, 2003, published 2004 --Chaff, Journal of the Massey University Students Assn, edited 1983 --Our Water History - on Tap, Water Supply in the Wellington Region 1867-2006, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Oct 2007 --Shell in New Zealand, Shell Heritage Society. Published 1 September 2004 --Heritage reports on diverse subjects: bus barn, dam, lighthouse, scout hall, coast defence battery, railway bridges, mining managers house and the suburb of Mt Cook, Wellington.


Member for
8 years 13 weeks