Alexander Reginald Wallace Shipley was born 23 October 1910, the son of Col Reginald Burge Shipley and Flora Marion Shipley (nee Wallace). He had a sister, Flora Ruth Shipley. He married Violet B Kemp in 1947.

He was a commissioned as a Territorial Officer with the Regiment. He was promoted Lieutenant in 1924. He was seconded to the RAF for service with the Air Ministry from 1936. Whilst with the Ministry he was commissioned from the Territorial Army into the Regulars with Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry at the outbreak of the Second World War. He returned to the Army in March 1940, posted as Adjutant to the 11th Bttn Durham Light Infantry at Launceston as part of 70th Infantry Brigade under Brigadier P Kirkup in June 1940, before being appointed Battalion 2i/c.

He was promoted Major and Mentioned in Dispatches.

Initiated at the age of 21 in November 1932, his military career prevented his further progress until he returned from service overseas in 1975 when he became Senior Warden. He was then installed as Worshipful Master the following year in 1976. He served as Secretary from 1977 to 1986. He was awarded London Grand Rank in 1984.