Major Desbrisay Blundell Mein DSO MC was initiated into the Lodge in 1927 and became Worshipful Deputy Master in 1934.
He went to Wellington and the Lynedoch in 1903, before Sandhurst and the Indian Army. He served with the 55th (Coke’s) Rifles, an Indian Army rifles’ regiment universally known as ‘Cokies’.
He served in France throughout the First world war and was awarded the MC at Ypres as part of the same action with the 4th Bttn 13th FF that saw Jemadar Mir Last win the VC. Mein was the Quartermaster and had sought to protect his men from the early use of gas by the enemy by using chloride of lime to improvise some measure of protection. He preferred “the firing line” to his “routine duties”1 as befitted a rifles officer from the NW Frontier and was alluded to in his MC citation:
“Lieutenant Desbrisay Blundell Mein, 55th Coke’s Rifles (Frontier Force), Indian Army Near Ypres, during operations from 24th April to 4th May, 1915, he displayed the greatest ability and coolness in bringing up rations and ammunition for the regiment under heavy shell fire. When only two officers were left with the regiment he came up from behind and took part in the second attack on the 27th May. He divided his time between assisting in the front line, where be was of the greatest help, and going back through Ypres under heavy shell fire to arrange for rations.”2
Peacetime saw him back in the East, and 1919 saw him as second in command of his battalion in Afghanistan, as with many British Soldiers before and since then, for which he was made a DSO in January 1920. Later that year he received a further Mention for his actions.
He retired to the UK and in civil life, his interest in photography led to his becoming a director of Ilford Ltd, and he was also a director of Schweppes and other companies. and died in Hertfordshire in 1937.
The Yearbook recalls “No one was more interested in or fond of Wellington than Mein; he hardly missed a London O.W. Dinner after he retired from the Army, always wanted to know the news, and when he made criticisms, they were as kindly as they were just.” In the same publication, the Lodge remembered him as “one of the most popular masters that the Lodge has had”.
- Regimental History of the 4th Battalion 13th Frontier Force Rifles (Wilde’s)
- London Gazette