Lt Col Timothy Stovin Lucas MC TD, or ‘Larry’ to his friends, was born on 20 April 1916. He was the son of Major Evelyn Penn Lucas MC R Berks and Mary Georgetta Mitchinson. He went to Stowe.
He married Joanna Repington Mathews, daughter of Charles Bernard Mathews, on 15 August 1942. They had two children: Charles Evelyn Penn Lucas (b 27 Jun 1943) and Charlotte Theresa Stovin Lucas (b 4 Feb 1945).
He was initiated at the age of 22 in November 1938 and passed and raised just in time to go to Calais with the Regiment. He commanded 8 Platoon in C Company under fellow Lodge member Major John ‘Buster’ Brown, under the Command of Lt Col ‘Plushy’ Ellison-Macartney.
What happened next is the stuff of Boys Own stories: Despite having been wounded in the arm in the fighting he managed to escape on the night he was captured and the next day rowed across the channel in a rowing boat. He was given the MC and later the TD. His account in a fellow officer’s diary is held by the National Archives:
“Was taken prisoner in harbour of CALAIS and told to march along road to a church with Rifleman HUBBY. Passed group after group and put into church in CALAIS which filled up with French soldiers. They remained there for two hours and then told to go outside; while in the church, prisoners arrived and estimated at about 300 Other Ranks and 20 / 25 Officers, and a great number of French, about 1,000. When first captured, was searched and 303 amm. taken (had no revolver). French and British Officers in column marched out of the town when practically dark in South Easterly direction on road to GUINES.
At GUINES there was a larger guards and Prisoners of War were kept in Square for a time. Then on across a railway at LICQUES and shortly after that to a for, in the road (2.30 am). Was walking more quickly than average speed in order to catch some friends who were forward in the column and noticed that no guards was passed for some time. As this was the case, took the right fork, while the column went left.
Went down about 100 yards and got into some bushes off the road and went to sleep. On Monday, 3rd, at about 4.30 / 5.30 a.m., when it got light, left greatcoat and found a bit of sacking which put over shoulders and went across country in a Westerly direction by the sun. Avoided all villages and collections of houses; no people in fields and only met one or two peasants who did not take any notice.
A number of German vehicles were noticed on the road.
Then reached some hills overlooking MARQUISE and crossed the MARQUISE road going on to the far side when eventually made for the coast, reaching the shore at LE CHATELET at 4 pm where rested there. From there, walked along the sand dunes to WISSANT. From there, could see the people in the village and lay in the sand dunes till it was fairly dark and then went back to the beach itself and walked almost into the village. On the beach, found some beach huts and behind these at the mouth of the river was a dinghy with oars. In one of the beach huts, obtained some rope.
Met an old French fisherman who got him beer and bread and helped him launch the dingy. There were very few Germans in the village. Started at 10 pm when it was quite dark and rowed up near a searchlight off CAP GRIS NEZ. Rowed till it was light with the tide going out and at 7 am reckoned he was half way across the cliffs of DOVER could be seen. Made for these. Saw a number of craft but they were going North and took no notice of him. About half a mile off DOVER, a mine sweeper came out and picked him up and landed him.”
For those interested in learning more about escape and evasion at the time of the Dunkirk evacuation, especially the numbers that rowed across the Channel, might consider starting with this website.
He managed to become Inner Guard on his return in 1940, and progressed through the offices to become Worshipful Master in in October 1953. He repeated the wardens’ offices to become Master again in 1960 at the Centenary Meeting. A third turn followed and saw him in the Chair for a third time in 1964.
1970 saw him appointed Senior Grand Deacon.
He went on the non-dining list in 1975 and died on 5 August 1981.
Boydell wrote in the 1990 History:
“Friendly, kind, courteous and always cheerful, Bro Lucas was the very epitome of an English Gentleman.”