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News & Publications > Obituaries > Bruce Coull (OB 1943-1951)

Bruce Coull (OB 1943-1951)

5 Mar 2024
Written by Karen Faulkner

Bruce Coull was a leading sportsman at Brentwood School. He was a free scoring centre forward, leading the XI attack for an almost unheard of four seasons. He played for the school squash team over the same period. Following duty on the boundary because “I could run fast,” Charles Edgson (i/c cricket) agreed Bruce should take a turn behind the timbers. As 1st XI wicket keeper, he stood up to the fastest bowlers. The July 1951 Brentwoodian referred to “a left hand bat whose dogged approach to the game has often rescued the side from difficulties.”

He was a fine athlete and held the School high hurdles record. He performed well enough at cross country but “did not get on well with the master in charge.” Few pupils could claim full colours in four sports.

As Cambridge would not allow him to take up a place to read medicine until after National Service, Bruce opted for Aberdeen University, where his mother read Latin and English. Studying from 1952-1957, he earned blues for soccer and squash, winning both his University's and the Scottish Universities’ squash titles, and playing for Scottish Universities v. English Universities. Posted to Malvern Wells after joining RAMC, he played squash for Worcestershire.

In 1961, Captain Coull left the RAMC and gained his Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from London University, working for six months in his chosen speciality at St Alphage’s Hospital, Greenwich. He then turned his talents to general practice over a six year period, divided between Sutton Coldfield and Leigh-on-Sea. In 1967, he became a single handed practitioner in Thorpe Bay. A former chairman of the BMA in south-east Essex, Bruce retired from the NHS in 1996 but continued to do private work in the surgery attached to his house.

Bruce’s sons Roderick and Dominic are both surgeons, the former specialising in Orthopaedics and the latter in colo-rectal surgery,  whilst daughters Fiona and Emma favoured finance. Bruce was a grandfather to five grandsons.

Retirement provided Bruce with the opportunity to write poetry. His wife Elizabeth had a limited edition of his Reflections printed for his 70th birthday, followed by a paper reprint in 2006.

“I enjoyed a wonderful life at Brentwood. I have an enduring memory of tennis being played on Otway lawn by Eggy Brice in white trousers and braces”.


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