Born in England, at six months old, Robin Bourne moved to Shanghai, China with his family, but the Second World War forced them to move to Canada when he was 11. Bourne attended Ridley from 1941 to 1948 where he was a prefect, quarterback of the football team and on both the hockey and cricket teams. After Ridley, he attended Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario and the University of Western Ontario, where he earned a B.A. in political science and history.
He joined the Canadian Army in 1952 and served in Korea as an artillery officer, and in Cyprus with the United Nations peacekeeping forces as an economic advisor. From 1971-79, Bourne served as head of the controversial security planning and analysis branch of the Solicitor-General’s Department, which had been set up in 1970 in the aftermath of the October Crisis. He was responsible for investigating individuals and groups considered a security threat and relaying that information to the cabinet, along with recommended plans of actions.
In 1981, Bourne was appointed as the assistant deputy attorney-general for police services for British Columbia, retiring in 1989. Bourne died in Victoria, B.C. on February 3, 1994.