Marine James Cobby

A young lad critically injured June 2011 in a fall
from the Tarzan Course at CTCRM

(scroll down for all updates in date order)

29th Jan` 2012

He is still in a bad way and is still bedridden with little prospect of recovery at this stage.  He was in a coma for yonks and is of course very weak ...
"We have to remember that James was injured last year and has been close to being in a 'permanently vegetative state' during all this time". James is becoming more forgotten and is now confined in a ward, in a hospital, on the other side of London from his parents who visit him every day.

Many thanx for the above info/update from Alan Nicholson RM Rtd via Rod Spinks RM Rtd

Foxnwolf comments;

I called the hospital concerned and spoke to James mother who was by his bedside. Mother and Father (Ian) alternate visits for hours, 7 days a week. You may have received an email with James contact details and tel #. By all means send cards etc to James but hold off on the phone calls. Either Janet or Ian have to take the call because James in his current state is unable to. So, we dont wish to add any further stress to the parents at this stage.

A visit by me personally to James is being organised for this week thru his parents and I will post an up to date "Sit-Rep" of James current situation and also what is being done for him, plus what else could be done for him.

Please send a "keep your pecker up" card by 1st class post to; (no flowers due to hospital H&S issues)

James Cobby (Royal Marines)
Cliveden Ward
Royal Hospital For Neuro Disabilities
West Hill, Putney
London, England

SW15 3SW

Further updates as and when I get them....... Then we can all takes things from there, one step at a time.......

1st Feb` 2012

I visited James and his loving family today at around 16:45hrs at the RNHB... It was heartbreaking and also made me feel so miniscule and helpless. An experience I shall never forget. A devoted family around James of which his mother Janet gives Physio for hours every day and Ian his father an ex matelot uses the more "get a grip approach" in a way that only family could. Support from other members of the family are totally unconditional and James does react in small ways by a twitch of his eyes or a slight movement of his fingers which shows improvement however slight.

Its going to be a long, long road to recovery but his age and his determination will get him and his family there. I aim to visit James once or twice a week for a few hours on a regular basis whilst my business allows. I hope to take "Looey" my Shitzu along on some visits to try and boost James reaction and touch/feel reactions.

Please send James a card of sorts. Knowing that friends are around him will help his recovery. And, that is to get his brain and circuit/pathways working again. I hope to meet (along the way) some of his friends from "Hunter" company and the warrant officer tasked with his well being. I will update you further as time goes by.......

James has full support of RM and is still on the payroll, as soon as he can lift a spoon and get out and about on a pair of sticks it`ll be off to Headley Court where surrounded by oppos and again, the best of care. He will then improve ten fold. Meanwhile this hospital is the best place for him.......  (RM29918)

2nd Feb` 2012

Popped along at 14:00hrs and left at 16:30hrs. Lots of interaction although in a small way. His mum and sister turned up as usual and kept up the daily physio of massaging his legs and arms etc. I just talked my head off and watched for responses of which there were two particular ones... (long blink with both eyes) or (straightening little finger of left hand) either of which shows approval or means yes. In James case, any improvement no matter how small is good for him....... (RM29918) 

4th Feb` 2012

Showed my face for a couple of hours again in the afternoon and brought a surprise along


This dog is better than a bottle of Vallium (in my case anyway), better than laying on top of a water tower next to a motorway somewhere. He is Loyal, Obedient and very loving. All you could want in a dog. Anyways am digressing a tad. Held Looey up to James field of vision and he certainly opened his eyes... (probably wondered) "what the **ck is that eyeballing me". Rested James hand on Looeys head for a few minutes. Gave him a RM Mug and Coaster and told him that I want to see him using that sometime soon.

8th Feb` 2012

Popped around today and said Hi to James. His mum Janet arrived a few minutes later and resumed James Physio. Two cards have arrived (and I thank those Rtd RM`s and their families for sending those). A return address would be good guys so that a "Thanx" can be sent sometime in the future (please put return addresses on your cards/envelopes). James had his I.T. therapy just as I left today. This checks his visual targets with what is being shown onscreen and he is able to acknowledge what he is able to see or understand. A long way to go but positive outcomes everytime.

I found out that his mum Janet is a Marathon runner and has already completed her 190th Marathon, my God... I can see where James gets his determination from. If any of you do Marathons look out for the name of "Janet Cobby" as she definately deserves a medal (and under 4 hrs most of the time). No, Janet is not a professional (its a hobby!?!?).

Come on folks, get the cards rolling in for his birthday (20th). Whether their late it does not matter. Scroll up for the full postal address...

This family makes you feel kind of... Humble and inadequate...

15th Feb` 2012

James was just in his chair sitting outside his room when I arrived this afternoon as staff were just finishing cleaning his room. I wheeled him in to his corner of the room and flicked on the TV for him. I think James is a fan of "Lady GaGa"... as all else paled in to insignificence when she came up on the Music Channel, typical bootneck. That tells me that something is clicking behind those bright eyes of his.......

By the way THANK YOU... to you folks who sent Birthday Cards and a BIG THANK YOU to John Farlie RM Rtd who visited James on his Birthday and also to two serving 40cdo who also turned up on the day. RM David Mitchell and one other (slip me your name as it was mislaid, sorry oppo)...

Also, the Birthday Cards were really welcome (those of you who left Tel #`s or return addresses hopefully may get a surprise from James one day)

Bob Carr RM Rtd
Dougie Jackson RM Rtd
John Kehoe RM Rtd (Carole & Family)
Michael Chaplin RM Rtd (Lowestoft RMA)
Steve N RM Rtd
And not forgetting the Staff & Members of the RMA

Quick reminder of James current location; (Consider a return address on your envelope or inside of card).

Please send a "keep your pecker up" card by 1st class post to; (no flowers due to hospital H&S issues)

James Cobby (Royal Marines)
Cliveden Ward
Royal Hospital For Neuro Disabilities
West Hill, Putney
London, England

SW15 3SW

22nd Feb` 2012

This concerns an email I received today. This is my reply;

I would like to add that The Corp "RM" (and its subsidiaries) including The Royal Neurological Hospita in Putney are supporting James and his family, FULLY in every way possible. The concern from Alan Nicholson RM Rtd and others were that not enough "messages/updates" on ground the level were getting out keeping the rest of us informed of James progress etc.

I wish to thank Alan for bringing James to my attention and because of this I visit James at least once a week of which you see the "sitreps" on this website. Cards and Pressies keep turning up (loads of thanx from James and his family). The Corp also purchased an iPad for James so that his parents can interact with him and improve his responses.

As far as I am concerned, Alan has no reason whatsoever to apologize or explain his comments concerning James to anyone. Its thru the efforts of diligent RM`s like Alan that certain issues pertaining to the Corp, we are all kept abreast of our family and friends who fall foul of illness or on hard times and I commend them for doing so. Therefore I have edited the initial information from Alan (at the top of this page). This for the few (i hope) that cant read between the lines and only see what they want to.

I hope that a few more of you can put yourself out and visit James and his family at the hospital, send cards and do something positive rather than complain or bitch about some elses opinion that one of our own may have fallen by the wayside. If I can, inbetween running my company, having 5 malignant tumors removed, my nephew dying in the US last year only 2 weeks after visiting me here in the UK and finally, my brother who was in a coma in Miami and had his life support turned off last Thursday by his son. We all have personal issues and excuses why we cant do something but thats all they are, excuses.......

Finally, the comment re James updates and medical information being posted (i gather that includes my sites). Having spoken with James family at the beginning when I first visited them at the hospital they are very happy that I give "basic" updates on my "visits" and keep everyone posted. So, you can take it that anything I post here or on my other website ( concerning James is up to the minute and Kosher. I cant speak for any other webmasters/websites at all. Other sites can of course place links directly to mine.

So, lets "Get a Grip" and let others in the Corp who may be less fortunate than ourselves know that they are not alone. If you have any complaints (not that I care) about me, my comments etc then email me... Your support would be welcome though...

As you may or may not be aware, I do support the Corp and all it stands for.......

1st March 2012

Spent 3 hrs today with James alongside his mum and dad (Janet & Ian). James had quite an intense day today with his Physio and other challenges which are having a very positive effect on him. Because of other issues that I had I was unable to visit James for the past2 weeks and therefore having seen him yesterday and what he has acheived in such a short time is wonderful news (especially for his parents).

Simple requests concerning Word Recognition written and displayed in front of James has him acknowledging commands. There is still a long way to go but he is a determined young man.

More Thanx from James and his parents re "Get Well" cards etc

Alan Nicholson RM Rtd
Rod "Terry" Spinks RM Rtd (also thanx for the "Green Beret" Plaque)
Mike Mortimor RM Rtd
Gordon Fellows Army Rtd

9th March 2012

Visited James and his family again today for 3 hours it was going to be only a 2 hour visit but a most welcome surprise entered the ward at 15:00hrs. I quickly whisked off my baseball cap (old habits never die especially when God appears in front of you). Good job I had a #4 haircut earlier in the morning. I thought of dropping to my knees or clicking my heels together or even standing to attention.

I had to keep my diginity so, a strong handshake and a "Good afternoon Sir" was all thats was required when I was confronted by Major General Ed Davis OBE Commandant General Royal Marines and Commander Amphibious Forces CGRM/CAF. I was waiting for 40cdo to come thru the windows or be lining the corridors but no, as casual and unassuming as any of us could be but, as well as exuding authority as a person of his stature would there is also a deeply caring person who is concerned about his "Marines".

"Ed" is one of those RM`s that you immediately feel comfortable with and I reckon he feels at home just by being at home. I didnt get his autograph and no I didnt invite him out for a run ashore, if I met him again in different circumstances I definately would,
Run ashore I mean (not the autograph). Must remember to get his name stencilled on the back of the captains chair if I am that lucky.

I flittered in to the background as the welfare visit continued with James and his parents. Around 16:00hrs I made my escape and apologies to everyone, aiming for Tesco to do the weekend "beverage" shop and a couple of cans of "MRM" that they call Chicken for my pooch, Looey.......

With regards to cards, there were a few more but ran out of time to log the names etc so I will update these here on my next visit.

No, I have not washed my hands yet....... I am awaiting confirmation of access thru the Pearly Gates in Bootneck Heaven when the time comes before I do....... Just had a pull of my shirt cuff (Steve Newlands wants to know if he is guaranteed a place at the "Gates" as well).......

14th March 2012

Another few hours this afternoon with James and his mother Janet. It seemed to go rather quickly today after his routine of exercises. Janet then covered him with a blanket and on with his 40cdo baseball cap and we took him out in to the fresh Putney air with the sun blazing but still quite chilly. Had a refreshing walk around the hospital grounds / gardens. James obviously at leisure being pushed in his new wheel chair.  Quickly checked if any new cards had arrived. The extra cards that were out had been older ones which were removed at the request of the hospital but, later put back out again. Keep them coming guys & gals.......

22nd March 2012

James looked wide awake this afternoon when I paid my visit. His mum and sister on hand helping him with his excercises. A little improvement every time. A long haul is expected but every step is a positive one. App` James ate a small pot of yoghurt prior to me arriving, that is definately a plus seeing as since the accident happened he has and still is beening fed via tube.

Yet again, Thanx from James and his family as more cards have arrived

John Glaze Lt Col` RM Rtd
Bob Carr RM Rtd

These mean a lot to James and his family, seeing the support from all sides, keep them coming.