Obituary: Roger Cobley

Obituary: Roger Cobley
21 February 2024

It is with great sadness that we report the recent passing of long-time member of the Institute, Roger Cobley, who has died after a long illness.

Roger left school at 17 and went to work for Whitmarsh Sterland & Co in St Neots, qualifying as a Chartered Certified Accountant in 1973. In 1974, he moved to Northampton to take up a senior role with Orton Desborough & Co, becoming a partner in 1977. Over the years he turned a small practice employing a couple of staff into an extremely successful and well regarded firm – now named Cobley Desborough – employing over 30 people by the time he retired in 2018. In addition to running the business, Roger volunteered tirelessly as treasurer for a number of charities, most notably for his church, St Alban the Martyr in Northampton.

Roger qualified as a Chartered Tax Adviser in 1978 and cherished his membership of the Institute. He threw himself whole heartedly into the Institute’s activities, attending both Spring and Autumn conferences every year without fail. He loved attending Institute meetings, not just for the top class lectures, but also for the wonderful society of friends he looked forward to meeting up with there.

He was a founder member of the Bedford (now Mid Anglia) Branch in 1979 and served on the committee for over 40 years before having to step down through ill health in 2020. He was one of only a select few members to be awarded the Certificate of Merit for his devotion to the Institute and to his profession.

Roger’s sons followed him into practice and continue to help run the business that bears his name. As well as inheriting his passion for tax and accountancy they have also inherited Roger’s cherished number plate: C10 TAX. Roger is survived by his beloved and devoted wife Irene.