Colonel J B Coates CBE MC
Commanded 1st Bn The Queen's Royal Regiment from July 1938 to September 1940.
James Bertram Coates was born on 24th September 1897 and was educated at Marlborough College and the RMC Sandhurst. He was commissioned in The Queen's Royal Regiment in November 1914 and joined the 2nd Battalion with whom he served in France and Italy. He was wounded twice and was awarded the Military Cross in 1917. He served with the 2nd Battalion in the Waziristan Campaign in 1919-21 and was appointed adjutant in 1922.
Later he became an instructor at the RMC Sandhurst before attending the Staff College in 1932-33. He then joined the 1st Battalion in India and after an appointment as Brigade Major was appointed to command the Battalion in 1938.
In September 1940 he was appointed GSO of 9th Indian Division and went to Malaya. On the last night before the surrender he was ordered out of Singapore and after an adventurous journey which included being sunk and marooned he got back to India and was appointed GSO (Ops) Eastern Army.
In 1943 after 10 years continuous service overseas he returned to UK and was appointed CSO South Wales District. For his services during the 1939-45 War he was made an OBE and Mentioned in Despatches. He was a fine sportsman and played hockey in India at Army level.
He retired from the Army on 11th February 1947. Later he was Secretary of the Lancashire Territorial Army and Auxiliary Forces Association and was made a CBE.
He died on 6th July 1988. For obituary see The Queen's Royal Surrey Regimental Association Newsletter No.44 November 1988 page 20.