Have you ever been curious about the story surrounding the large stone cross memorial that overlooks that water at St Just in Roseland?

Well, Barry West, a Cornish researcher and historian, has.

So much so, in fact, that he set out to uncover the circumstances surrounding its erection and to discover just who Charles John Bowen Cooke, the man whom the cross memorialised, was.

Explaining why he'd decided to start digging, Barry told The Packet: "For years I've been going down to St Just in Roseland Church, looking around and taking in the peace and tranquility of the place.

Falmouth Packet: Barry West next to the memorialBarry West next to the memorial

"And one day I went down there and I said I'm going to research this man, as I've known about him for a long time.

"I worked on the railway for 35 years, so I was intrigued because of my railway connection."

In his day, Charles John Bowen Cook was the chief mechanical engineer at the London and North Western and North London Railway companies.

Falmouth Packet: Charles John Bowen Cooke. Photo credit: National Railway Museum / Science & Society Picture LibraryCharles John Bowen Cooke. Photo credit: National Railway Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

According to his 1921 obituary, published in 'The Engineer,' Cook was born in near Peterborough on January 11 1859, and was educated at a preparatory school in Cheltenham before going on to study at King's College School in London.

He entered the Crewe Locomotive Works as a premium apprentice in 1875 and would become superintendent of the running department of the southern division of the London and North Western Railway Company before eventually becoming appointed Chief Mechanical Engineer.

Read Next:

He also invented a motorcar for use during World War One.

Barry continued: "So one day I went home and I researched him and the cross, and my first thought was, 'how did they get the cross here?'"

"What transpired was that the funeral cortège and coffin were, and this wonderful procession along the seaweed strewn beach, through the country lane and up to the church.

Falmouth Packet: The cross appears to have a Celtic knot designThe cross appears to have a Celtic knot design

After his death at the age of 62 in October 1920, Cook's funeral would see his coffin carried from number two Bank Place in Falmouth and placed on a small boat which was followed by a steamer vessel know as the Roseland, of which Cook was reportedly quite fond, and occupied by mourners.

The Roseland was also followed by two small boats which transported sailors who would assist the bearers once they landed.

The funeral fleet sailed down the St Just Creek until it arrived at St. Just-in Roseland churchyard where the procession continued on to God's Acre for what would be described as a solemn service.

Falmouth Packet: The plaque that accompanies the memorial.The plaque that accompanies the memorial.

Barry continued: "What a wonderful way to be laid to rest.

"Can you imagine, the oyster men stopped dredging the River Fal and they doffed their caps as they sailed on up.

"There were that many flowers they had to enlist he help of the people on the shoreline to carry them, isn't that incredible?"

The memorial cross itself is carved with what appears to be a Celtic knot design and was erected as a mark of esteem by the directors, officials, and staff of the London and North Western and North London Railway companies.