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In Memoriam: D.J. Cole (46-50)

You are warmly welcomed to leave a message below, share your memories, and celebrate the life of David Cole (46-50), who we sadly lost in 2022.
16 Sep 2022
Written by Robin Knight
Obituaries

D.J. COLE (46-50)

David John Cole (46-50), a Commander RN, died on June 29th, 2022, aged 90. He left a widow Carol, a daughter and four grandchildren.

A Tribute was given at his funeral in St. Mary’s Church, Orcheston, Wiltshire on August 2nd by Stephen James, his son-in-law. In part, he said:

“David was born in Croydon in May 1932, one of five brothers. In 1939 the family moved briefly to Bidborough in Kent before deciding, for safety’s sake after witnessing the Battle of Britain overhead, to settle further inland at Amersham in Buckinghamshire. Here he went to the Beacon prep school before passing into The Nautical College in 1946. At the NCP he was in Hesperus Division and Form VIB and also won several prizes for photography.

In 1950 David gained direct entry into the RN and Dartmouth. On graduating, he spent most of the following eight years based in the Mediterranean and Malta. Aged 29, he was selected for the long gunnery course at Whale Island in Portsmouth. While there, he met his wife-to-be by chance. A couple of years later, by then serving in the frigate HMS Llandaff, David and Carol were married in Gibraltar. A shore-based job near Plymouth as a gunnery officer in the “stone frigate” HMS Cambridge followed.

A conventional RN officer career for the era ensued over the following 25 years. This included taking a two year-old Vosper Thorneycroft frigate with no navigational instruments except the echo sounder in working order, the Ghana Navy ship Kromanstse, back to the UK for repairs from the newly-independent country; a spell in the aircraft carrier HMS Albion; and a transfer to the Bahamas in June 1972 to serve as the Resident Naval Officer and Naval Adviser to the UK High Commissioner. On Bahamian independence 12 months later, he became Defence Adviser to the new High Commissioner on attachment to the Foreign Office.

In late-1975 David returned to a desk job overseeing protocol in the Ministry of Defence. He retired from the RN in 1982 after his last job liaising with the Army at UK Land Forces headquarters in Wilton. A civilian job in a leading hotel advisory association followed. After travelling the length and breadth of the UK for 13 years, he retired a second time in 1996.

In retirement, David and Carol lived in the village of Orcheston, on the edge of Salisbury Plain, and enjoyed many happy years there. Always a glass half-full (or more) man, he kept up his lifelong interest in photography and classical music and owned a string of much-loved Irish Terriers. A most helpful, kind and generous man, David’s was a very happy life, well lived.”

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