On This Day…

On the 18th August 1942 an ambush at Duncan’s Piquet killed L/Sjt Percy Everitt Cook

On this day in 1942 there was an ambush at Duncan’s Piquet. The piquet sat on the high point at the north of the Razmak Plateau, a strategically important feature. Razmak, five miles south of the piquet became the most important garrison in Waziristan and remains in use today as a police post.

The site of the ambush was on the newly completed, twisting mountain road to the north of the piquet and took place after the end of the operations by the Waziristan Force, which had largely been completed the previous April. In the short action Lance Serjeant Percy Everitt Cook of ‘C’ Divisional Signals serving with ‘Signals Tochi and Khaisora Area’ was killed and Signalman Cecil Punter, attached from ‘G’ Divisional Signals, and an un-named Indian signaller were wounded.

Percy Cook lies buried in Razmak Cemetery, which sits within the present Pakistan Army garrison cantonment. A memorial to him may be seen on his mother’s grave at Broadway Cemetery, Peterborough. Later promoted, Corporal Cecil Punter was posted to No. 2 Cavalry Brigade Signal Troop at Sialkot before returning to the United Kingdom in 1930, when he joined Cavalry Divisional Signals at Tidworth. He was discharged in July 1932, went to work as an electrician in Tidworth and died in 1979, aged 76.


Peter Archer painting

Many from the Corps will be familiar with the Corps’ painting Frontier Ambush by Peter Archer, the original of which hangs in the Officers’ Mess at Blandford. It depicts the scene on 18 August 1924 when a vehicle carrying a small Royal Signals party from Razani was ambushed below Duncan’s Piquet in Waziristan (now part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Pakistan).