Captain Bernard Sampson Hancock


Bernard Sampson Hancock was born at Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, on 5 January 1894, son of earthenware manufacturer Jabez James Hancock and his wife Elizabeth Ann (nee Goodall). He was educated at Newcastle High School.

On 4 September 1914 he enlisted in the Hussars of the Line at Scarborough (No.22536) and on 2 December was posted to the 13th Reserve Cavalry Regiment. On 2 June 1915 he was compulsorily transferred to the 3rd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment (No.19433), and five days later was promoted to lance corporal.

On 14 August 1915 Hancock applied for a commission in the infantry. On 27 September 1915 he was made a 2nd lieutenant and posted to a Service Battalion of the Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire) Regiment, following a period of time at a school of instruction at Tynemouth.

On 29 March 1916 he transferred to the 10th Reserve Cavalry Regiment and was posted to its base at the Curragh.

Soon after, Hancock was attached to the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, joining the regiment in the field at Flesselles, France, on 13 August 1916. The regimental diary for the day noted:

2nd Lts Dean, Hancock & Kirkbride joined from 10th Reserve Cav[alr]y, Curragh, & were posted as follows 2nd Lts Dean & Hancock to "B" Sqn & 2nd Lt Kirkbride to "A" [Squadron].

Three other references were made to Hancock in the regimental war diary that year:

2nd Lieuts Dean & Hancock have yet to rejoin from Le Mazis where they are attached to 18th Lancers. (7 September)

Second Lieut Hancock and two servants are attached temp[oraril]y to C. Squadron. (12 September)

2 Lieut Hancock was in charge of Digging party. (8 December)

On 11 December 1916 Hancock transferred back to the North Staffordshire Regiment, where he was posted to the 8th (Service) Battalion. He was made a lieutenant on 1 July 1917 and acting captain on 1 October.

On 20 November 1918 Hancock sought permission to relinquish his commission as he was:

... urgently required by my father to continue his business, which his own failing health and increasing age prevent him from doing ... I am an only son, and it is necessary for me to assist in the maintenance of my Mother and four sisters, which I should be unable to do were I to remain in the Army.

Hancock's resignation took effect on 28 March 1919 and he joined the Reserve of Officers, with the rank of captain. He resigned from the reserve in August 1921.

Hancock died at Stoke-on-Trent in 1980.