Guernsey Government House

Death of Vice Admiral Sir John Coward

Vice Admiral Sir John Coward KCB, DSO

His Excellency, Lady Corder and the staff of Government House, past and present, were sad to learn of the death on Saturday 30th May 2020 of Vice Admiral Sir John Coward, after a period of illness. Sir John served as the Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey from 1994 to 2000.

Sir John's distinguished military career included command of the Type 22 Frigate HMS BRILLIANT during the Falklands War of 1982, when the ship shot down three enemy aircraft and was involved in the only ship-to-ship engagement of the conflict. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and went on to serve as Flag Officer Sea Training in 1987, and Flag Officer Submarines and Commander of the Eastern Atlantic Submarine Area in 1989. He ended his military career as Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies in Belgravia, London.

Sir John and Lady Coward opened up Government House and its the grounds, hosting a wide range of events and entertainment for islanders of all ages. They also devoted much time and energy to a far-reaching refurbishment of Government House, including the creation of new offices for the Office of the Lieutenant-Governor on the building's first floor.

In his spare time, Sir John was a keen yachtsman and was appointed as a Vice President of the RNLI. He also enjoyed gardening, golf, cooking and playing the piano. His uncommonly keen memory and engaging sense of humour made him a popular public speaker.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Lady Coward and sons Sam and Rupert, and their families, at this very sad time.

Vice Admiral Sir John Coward KCB, DSO
11th October 1937 - 30th May 2020