Bro Stan Marut, News Editor for the Middlesex Provincial Media Team looks at the connection between Middlesex Masons and Military Service by bringing to mind time served by members of the Province in H M Forces and recalling memories of family members who saw service in the two Great Wars.
The proceedings of Remembrance Sunday, apart from paying homage to the War dead, provide an opportunity to reflect upon our own experience both in having served with the Armed Forces and also to look at the service rendered by family members in both World Wars and after.
As we move further into the 21st century the links between us and the particular conflicts, which saw British Armed Forces serve in a multitude of theatres of war, slowly erode.
One day there will only be a memory left of those who perished in the service of the country.
It may be, therefore, opportune to consider this and briefly look at some of our achievements of Middlesex Masons in the Military and also of our family members.
W Bro Phil Clark -
The late father of W Bro Phil Clark a member of Harefield Lodge, No. 7417 with the war medals he had received which include the Africa Star and the Italy Star amongst others.
W Bro Phil Clark fondly recalls his late father who served in the Territorial Army before the 2nd World War and was one of the first to be called up.
He served with the Royal Artillery working with horses and mules.
He was very experienced with these animals and taught his son Philip to ride.
Indeed, he named his son Philip, which stems from the Greek word Phillipos -“lover of horses”
W Bro Paul Huggins PSGD APGM -
Bro Paul Huggins PSGD APGM
Bro Paul Huggins’ father, Jesse Huggins, was a Captain in the Army during the First World War.
Regrettably, Paul’s uncle, the brother of his father was one of those who was killed at the Somme leading his men “over the top”.
His great uncle Ernest tragically died in the Second World War just a few days before it ended.
He was attempting to defuse a bomb.
Paul’s father was a Freemason and a member of a Middlesex Lodge the Raymond Thrupp Lodge, No. 2024 (now sadly erased), which had been consecrated in 1884.
In 1961 he was appointed 3rdProvGP which coincidentally was 50 years before his son W. Bro Paul was appointed to the very same Office.
W Bro Gil Singleton PProvGSwdB PPrSGD (Surrey) -
W Bro Gil Singleton in the mess dress of Wing Commander RAF
W Bro Gil Singleton PProvGSwdB PPrSGD (Surrey)
W Bro Gil served with the RAF between 1970 and 2008 which is a lifetime of service, almost.
His final rank was Warrant Officer (Bandmaster).
He served variously in the United Kingdom and Germany and has performed around the world on TV, Radio and through recorded mediums.
Active duties include time served in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War in 1991.
He has the RAF Long Service and Good Conduct Medal awarded in 1985; the Clasp subsequently in 2000.
Additionally, he has the Gulf War Medal and Clasp awarded in 1991.
After leaving regular service W Bro Gil is now working in the Air Training Corps and has the distinguished rank of Wing Commander. He is still currently active in this Service.
In the Province he is a member of Middlesex Armed Forces Lodge, No. 9940.
His brother, a former Royal Marine, was also a Freemason in the Province of Buckinghamshire and a maternal great grandfather a member in the Province of Essex.
He first became a Freemason in Surrey.
His Mother Lodge is North Downs Lodge, No. 7010 (Surrey), and he was Initiated on the 20th November 1993.
At that time he was Flight Sergeant serving on the HQ Staff of RAF Music Services at RAF Uxbridge.
W Bro Robert McLintock PProvGSwdB -
W Bro Robert McLintock in his role as Drum Major in the 1st Battalion Scots Guards
W Bro Robert McLintock PProvGSwdB
W Bro Robert is a founder member of the Middlesex Armed Forces Lodge, No. 9940 and currently Worshipful Master.
He was initiated into Richmond Hill Lodge, No. 6698 in 1997.
He was Master of that Lodge in 2005.
His military career is almost a gazetteer of the places the British Army served in during modern times which included Northern Ireland, Germany, Kenya, Falkland Islands, Belize, Hong Kong, Canada and closer to home both Windsor and finally the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall, Twickenham.
W Bro Robert had a distinguished career in the Scots Guards and took part in the Trooping of the Colour 1987 in his role as role as Drum Major in the 1st Battalion Scots Guards.
His military honours include the General Service Medal (Northern Ireland Clasp), South Atlantic Medal & Rosette 1982 (Falkland Islands) and the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (Army).
He can be proud of his family’s connection to the military with his father and two uncles having previously served in the Scots Guards (his uncle Robert McLintock during the 2nd World War) and his father, Alexander McLintock, on National Service in 1951/52 with his Uncle in Law Harry Webb also serving.
Another uncle, James McLintock, served in the Gordon Highlanders and yet another, Gordon McLintock, served in the Royal Air Force Regiment in Cyprus during the inter-communal violence post-independence in 1967 and was wounded.
Regrettably, his career ended in medical discharge.
W Bro Stan Marut LGR LGCR PPrAGSoj – News Editor -
W Bro Stan Marut on the right at Stanhope Lines, Aldershot in 1968 (160 Provost Company RMP)
W Bro Stan Marut LGR LGCR PPrAGSoj – News Editor
For my own part I served briefly in the late 1960s and early 1970s in the Army.
Having been in the Army Cadet Force as a younger teenager it seemed a natural progression to enlist.
Not only that, but my father hadn’t consented to me becoming an Army apprentice in the REME when I was 15.
So, when I was old enough I just did it.
This time I was ready to be either a Bandsman in the Royal Dragoons or a Military Policeman.
The Red Caps won.
During my spell in the “Red Caps” I served in Berlin and have worked on Checkpoint Charlie on the border between the Communist East Berlin and West Berlin.
This was during the early days of the Berlin Wall.
The Royal Military Police were also tasked with patrolling the border of the British Sector of West Berlin with the German Democratic Republic.
Two MPs in a Land Rover against the East German Army.
We were armed with Sterling sub machine guns which were kept in a locked box just in case !!!
My grandfather John McAllister Wilson taken around the time of the First World War
There is a history of Military Service in my family with John McAllister Wilson, my Grandfather on my Mother’s side serving in a Scottish Regiment during the First World War.
He was gassed in the trenches and this had an effect on him subsequently and probably led to an earlier death than might have been expected.
My father was a Pole and a soldier in the 1st Polish Armoured Division which took part in the D Day Landings in 1944.
He was always grateful that he was allowed to stay in the UK after the war.
Two of my Brothers saw National Service in the Royal Signals, the RAOC and the other brother was a Merchant Seaman. Strong military ethos in my family.
I am a member of St Clair Chapter, No. 2902, Middlesex First Principals Chapter, No. 3420 and Middlesex Masters Uxbridge Lodge, No. 9292
Those who served in the Armed Forces will know and have experienced the strong bonds that exist between former colleagues.
These bonds have no time limit and irrespective of when you last met someone, the conversation picks up from where you left off.
Freemasonry is similarly endowed with the same Esprit de Corps.
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