Major (QM) Mason GK MBE RE


Major (QM) Charles King MASON. MBE. RA

(3rd February, 1902 –8th January, 1982)

Born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire his parents were Norman Matthew and Hannah Mason. The family lived at 55 Broxtowe Drive, Mansfield when the 1911 Census was taken and it shows that Charles had an extended family of eight other siblings – including six brothers.

He attested for the Royal Artillery on the 2nd March, 1920 at Mansfield and gave his occupation as a Miner.

His RA Attestation entry shows that he married Winifred Florence Duhy at Cahir, Co. Cork (actually Co. Tipperary) on the 26th December, 1921 – a very interesting and dangerous time in Ireland. Winifred was the daughter of John Duhy from 10 Carrigeen, Kilcommon, Cahir, Co. Tipperary; John was a former soldier of the Royal Artillery who served from 1895 to 1907.

Although the Irish War of Independence (as they refer to it) ended on the 11th July, 1921 – much fighting and sectarian violence continued throughout the country as the IRA embarked upon a savage Civil War with the new Irish Free State forces and at the same time the IRA continued its destruction of those who were Protestants or those deemed to support the British Government or the new Northern Ireland Government.

Cahir was the location of the Old Military Detention Barracks and was the temporary home of a soldier of 42nd Brigade RFA – L/Bdr B.C.Shreeve who was accidentally shot in 1920 by another soldier. By 1920/21 this whole area was very dangerous for British Army personnel as the case of two Royal Artillery Officers (Lieutenants B.L. Brown MC & D.A. Rutherford MC*) showed when they went away in civilian clothes to Killarney for a “holiday” and were never seen alive again – their bodies have still not been recovered. In late 1921 their deaths were claimed by the IRA from Macroom and notification officially accepted by the UK authorities.

In view of all this it would appear that Charles was stationed in Ireland at this time and presumably played his part in the conflict there during 1921.

By 1922 Charles was stationed in Aldershot with the birth of his son Albert Charles in March 1922 and still at Aldershot with the birth of a second child in August 1923. He was then stationed in Shorncliffe in 1925 with the birth of a daughter mentioned on his RA Attestation. He further extended to 12 years’ service with the colours on the 9th October, 1925.

From 1926 to 1928 he appears on the electoral rolls for 71 Bradder Street in the Burgh of Mansfield, Nottingham also on the absent voters list as a Lance Bombardier and serving with 1/28th Field Brigade, RA.

The next trace of Charles is in Hammersmith in 1930 on the electoral roll showing his residence as the Drill Hall in Wood Lane, Shepherd’s Bush. The 254th (19th London) Battery, RFA TA of 64th (7th London) Field regiment, RA TA was based there in the 1930’s (the building still exists).

Charles then served at Deepcut barracks in 1937-39 as he appears on the electoral roll for this location. In 1937 he is awarded the 1937 Coronation Medal and he appears on the Roll as a WO.II Royal Artillery.

For his service in WW2 he was awarded the 1939-45 Star, The France & Germany Star, Defence Medal and War Medal.

Also awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct medal in Army Order XXX of XXX.

Awarded the MBE Military in the New Year Honours List of 1944.

Charles retired from the Army in 1953 and came off the Reserve of Officers List in 1957.

He died at Portsmouth on the 8th January, 1982 aged 79.

This information is from research I am doing on various Royal Artillery Officers.

I am sure Major Mason is from the same family on the Masons of Bradder Street Page on this web site.


Comments about this page

  • Just for the record, The photograph above shows Charles as a captain, he has three pips whereas a Major wears a crown on his epaulets. I note with interest Charles was a Quarter Master. In the Army, a Quarter Master has to be a relatively senior Soldier who supervises Stores, and distributes supplies and provisions to his regiment. He spent a long time in the army, from 1920 to 1953, plus four years on reserve. That was a long time for any serving soldier.

    By alan curtis (23/10/2015)
  • My word, he does look like one of the Masons family too, lovely story and well documented Jim. He looks so much like Cyril Mason.  Just to confirm Hannah spent many hours in our house number 67, at least from the 30’s. I met all the Mason family, and I believe that Nelly Mason passed away just a few years ago. The two families thought the world of each other, and Grammar/Hannah, and my Mum were great friends through very difficult times.

    By alan curtis (20/10/2015)

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