Hollyburn Funeral Home

1807 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, BC


Robert Edward Coles

November 7, 1926June 21, 2020

It is with deep sadness that the family announces the passing of Bob Coles at the age of 93. Bob was born in London, England in 1926, the youngest of three boys born to Ted and Jen Coles. He attended Hendon County Grammar School until May 1944 when he enlisted in the army at age 17. Assigned to Special Communications Unit No. 3 Royal Signals, he served as a radio operator at the Montreathmont Radio Station near Forfar, Scotland, intercepting and recording enemy communications which were then sent to Bletchley Park to be decoded. After he was demobilized, Bob studied to be a hospital administrator with the newly formed National Health Service. With the exception of a brief period of employment with the National Union of Journalists, hospital administration was to become his career. His first job was at East Dulwich Hospital in South London. In 1960 he accepted a position in Kenya as the Hospital Secretary at Nyeri in the Central Highlands. After two years in Nyeri he was transferred to Nairobi where he taught at the Medical Training Centre. In 1963 he moved to Hong Kong to assume the position of Hospital Secretary at the newly constructed Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kowloon. He spent the next 25 years with the Medical and Health Department, rising to the position of Principal Hospital Secretary. After retirement in 1986, he spent another six years in Hong Kong as Senior Hospital Administrator with the Caritas Medical Centre. It was in Hong Kong that Bob met Jane. They married in Vancouver in 1973 and twenty years later decided to retire there. They led an active and happy retirement in North Vancouver until the last few years when Bob’s health began to deteriorate and his mobility became increasingly restricted. In 2017 they moved into Amica Retirement Home in Edgemont Village. The family would like to thank the staff of Amica for their loving care. Bob is survived by his wife Jane, his children, Peter and Helena, and his grandchildren, Bella and George. He was a kind and humble man who will be missed by all who knew him. A private funeral mass will be held on June 30th at 11:00 am at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church, 599 Keith Road, West Vancouver, BC. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church.


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Robert Edward Coles

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