Happy Birthday Gordon!

Happy 90th birthday Gordan!

Gordon Malcolm McCoombe OBE (St Vincent, 1940 – 1944) has been unwell recently and we wanted to make a fuss of him on his 90th birthday. Head of St. Vincent, Ilai Mate and friends went the extra mile by giving Gordon a virtual tour of St Vincent boarding house. Much has changed but the boys have shown once again that service and loyalty to others remains steadfast at RHS. Gordon also received personal best wishes from the Headmaster and Vice President of the Royal Hospital School Association, Brigadier Kevin Beaton OBE QHP (Collingwood 1979).

Gordon came to RHS on the same Greenwich Hospital Seafarers' Bursary that continues to transform lives to this day. This was awarded to Gordon when he needed it most after he lost his father, a Cunard Line Steward, who died of a heart attack in Sumatra in 1940. Gordon entered what was referred to as the Upper Nautical School for boys who were fluent readers and talented mathematicians. Gordon left RHS in 1944 to join the Fleet Air Arm to become an aircraft engineer, the start of a very successful career culminating in an OBE for services to the aeronautical industry.


RHS' Mr. Rob Mann and Mr. Simon Marsh took a trip out to Hythe to visit Gordon and his wife Margaret to play the St. Vincent film and to learn more his life. Gordon said he has always been proud to have been a RHS student and to have received such a sound start to his long career. Gordon offered pupils the following advice "To navigate the world beyond RHS you have to continually work hard for yourself and others. But you will work out how to do it. You will get there and it will be worthwhile".

Gordon Malcolm McCoombe OBE C Eng MI Mech E FRAes (St Vincent, 1940 – 1944)

  • Aircraft Engineer, Fleet Air Arm
  • Principal Professional and Technology Officer for the Ministry of Defence
  • President of Society of Licensed Aircraft Engineers and Technologists (SLAET) (1990-1991)
  • President of Royal Aeronautical Society (1991-92)
  • Awarded the OBE for services to the aeronautical industry (1989)
  • Happy birthday Gordon and well done St Vincent!