It is with deep sadness that I report the death of John Brunel Cohen earlier today (30 January 2019) aged 96. John was taken ill soon after our Christmas party at St James’s Palace and he died peacefully this morning in King Edward VII’s Hospital in London.
John became a trustee of The Not Forgotten in 1965. He was Chairman from 1979 to 1993 and since then was an active Vice President. John’s family’s involvement with the charity covers our entire history as his father, Major Sir Brunel Cohen, co-founded TNF with Miss Marta Cunningham and became the charity’s first Chairman. John’s long involvement with the charity from childhood to Chairmanship gave The Not Forgotten a special place in his life and affections. He also introduced many benefactors to the charity. John always said that the veterans he met with The Not Forgotten were ‘some of the finest’.
John served with the Royal Marines in World War 2 landing on Juno beach on D Day. He then followed careers first in shipping and then as a Lloyd’s insurance broker. He was the oldest Royal Marine veteran and valued his close connection to the Corps.
John’s wife, Simone, died at a young age leaving a daughter and twin sons. He subsequently married Christine who took a close interest in TNF and who sadly died after over thirty years of marriage in 2007. He leaves twin sons and a close extended family of two nephews, two stepdaughters and two stepsons.
John was appointed an Officer of the British Empire in recognition of his service with The Not Forgotten Association. He was also appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of London and was presented with the Legion D’Honneur at a ceremony at the French Ambassador’s residence in 2014.
John’s life, his generosity and his involvement with The Not Forgotten over so many years will always form an important part of our charity’s history.
David Cowley, Chairman of The Not Forgotten