Coombs, Doris V.

Born on 21 January 1903. With a degree in French from Exeter University, in 1927 she was appointed by the UM Missionary Society to Ningbo, China, south of Shanghai. In a short time she became fluent and literate in Chinese. She taught for some years, up to and after the Japanese invasion, at Riverside School for Girls, an American Baptist and Presbyterian establishment. In 1942 she was interned in Shanghai. At the end of the war she returned briefly to England but resumed work at the school in 1946. After the Communist victory in 1948, missionaries' freedom of movement was restricted, but she was able to continue teaching until the school buildings were destroyed by Chiang Kai-shek's bombers. She remained in Ningbo with the Revd R.J. Hooper and supported the Chinese Christians by her presence until the situation became impossible and they joined the missionary exodus in 1950.

In 1951 she was appointed to Côte d'Ivoire to work with students. In 1953 she married William Percy Bates (1883-1971; e.m. 1910), who had been principal of the Methodist College in Ningbo. She died on 30 Novermber 1986.