Quartermaster Lionel Williamson Shearer


The entry in the Lodge Temperance 2557 Roll of Honour at the rear of the minute book reads – Quartermaster L. Shearer 08438 Motor Transport, A.S.C. 55 Coy Troop Supply Coy.  His WW1 service record confirms his No 08438 and that he was with 621 Motor Transport Company, Army Service Corp. He  briefly held the position of Company Quartermaster Sergeant (CQMS) before reverting back to Corporal.

He served just over eighteen months (29/10/1914 to 8/4/1916) before being discharged as no longer physically fit for service. There is no reason given in his record but could have been the result of an eye injury he suffered while serving in the Northumberland Hussars and Durham County Contingency of the Imperial Yeomanry in 1901. He joined the Yeomanry in February 19o1 and was sent to South Africa in March, where a nail pierced his eye while opening a box at Mafeking, resulting in loss of sight. He was discharged in September 1901 as no longer fit for service.

He was the son of Edward and Annie Jane Shearer (nee Bates). They were married in Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1881 and had at least nine children, including:

  • ·         Lionel Williamson (b 1881)
  • ·         Annie Jane (b 1883)
  • ·         Edward Awl (b 1884)
  • ·         Robert William (b 1887)
  • ·         Walter Joseph (b 1890)
  • ·         Violet May (b 1892)
  • ·         Mary Adelaide (b 1898)

Lionel was born in Newcastle and married Jessie Kay on the 22nd February 1904 in Newcastle Upon Tyne and they had at least three children:

  • ·         Lionel Williamson Shearer (b 22/10/1904)
  • ·         Leslie Robson Shearer (b 30/06/1907)
  • ·         Jessie Shearer (b 02/04/1914)

 In April 1911, Lionel was living at 40, Station Road, Ashington with his wife Jessie and their two sons, Lionel, 6 and Leslie 3. He was a depot Manager for a Cycle Manufacturer.

At the Lodge meeting on Monday 17th April 1911 Bro C. F. Maughan proposed and Bro Benjamin Bergman seconded Lionel Williamson Shearer, age 29 years, a cycle depot manager, residing at 40, Station Road, Ashington as a fit and proper person to be initiated into Freemasonry. He was duly elected by ballot at the meeting of Monday 15th May and was initiated into the Mysteries and Privileges of Ancient Freemasonry on Monday 19th June. He was passed to the second or Fellow Craft degree on the 21st August and raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on Monday 16th October 1911. He signed and received his Grand Lodge certificate on Monday 15th April 1912.

Lionel left England for Fremantle in Australia on 7th August 1926 and was followed by his wife Jessie and their three children Lionel, Leslie and Jessie on the 16th October 1926. Lionel died in Fremantle in 1960 age 79 and his wife in 1971 age 91.

Lionel is commemorated on page 43 in the Book of Remembrance South Africa Northumberland Hussars and Imperial Yeomanry in St Nicholas Cathedral, Newcastle Upon Tyne and the Roll of Honour 1914-18 Lodge Temperance 2557 (NUT254)