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Contribution of Orange Brethren during WWII

Members of the Orange Institution served with distinction during the Second World War - with some receiving honours for their bravery and courage.

D-Day Major Frederick Robert Armstrong Hynds MC

Served with: 1st Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifles Awards: Military Cross; Mentioned in Despatches Lodge: Blue Banner LOL No. 1942; Fernhill Temperance LOL No. 1388; Star of the East LOL No. 802; Cross of St. Patrick LOL No. 688; Deputy Grand Master, Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland. Frederick Robert Armstrong Hynds was born in Belfast on 26 January 1903. At the age of 20 he joined the 1st Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifles. He progressed through the ranks quickly going from Lance Corporal to Sergeant in a few years and was variously stationed in Germany, Egypt and Hong Kong. At the outbreak of WWII in 1939, Hynds received his commission, which was a Lieutenancy ‘at sea’ and by 1941 he had been promoted to Captain, further being promoted to Major in 1944. Major Hynds was dropped behind enemy lines on the 5 June 1944 to pave the way for the D-Day landings of the 6 June 1944. After the D-Day landing, with little regard to his personal safety, he exposed himself to artillery fire to encourage his men and to aid in the evacuation of the wounded. Further, on the 7 June, Hynds assisted in the evacuation of wounded men from an aid post at Longueval. He did not seek safety until all his men and wounded had been evacuated. For his actions, Hynds received the Military Cross and was Mentioned in Despatches in 1944. Prior to his military service, Hynds had been a member of Blue Banner LOL No. 1942, Belfast District No. 1, and later of Fernhill Temperance LOL No. 1338 in Belfast District LOL No. 2. During his service in Hong Kong he was a member of Star of the East LOL No. 802 and was Worshipful Master for a period. After the end of WWII, Hynds returned to Ulster and was a founding member of Cross of St. Patrick LOL No. 688. In due course, Hynds became a Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland. He died on 16 July 1983. A Bridge Too Far! Cecil Newell Served with: 40th Artillery and 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment. Awards: Recommended for Military Medal Lodge: Brunswick LOL No. 1702, Founder member Brunswick Accordion Band. Cecil Newell from Annalong enlisted in the army in 1940, initially being attached to the Artillery before his move to the Parachute Regiment. His war would be an eventful one as part of this new Airborne arm of the British Army. Over the next few years he saw action in North Africa, Sicily, and Normandy.

In 1944 he was part of the 2nd Parachute Regiment that was deployed to Arnhem as part of Operation Market Garden. Cecil was part of a small number of men who made it through the German lines and captured one end of Arnhem bridge, the finale of Montgomery’s masterplan to outflank the Germans in northern Europe and invade the Rhine, thus shortening the war. For four days this small group of brave soldiers held off much superior German forces. Cecil described the scene; “I was exposed nearly all the time, and the bullets were flying everywhere.” Cecil and his fellow paratroopers held out as long as possible, using machine guns, rifles and a small number of handheld anti-tank weapons against an armoured German Division. Eventually, they were forced to surrender. One of Cecil’s most abiding memories was scampering up and down the embankment beside the bridge to supply machine guns with ammunition. He was under constant fire from the enemy and was considered for a Military Medal for his actions. Cecil became a prisoner of war in Czechoslovakia until his camp was liberated in 1945. After the war he continued to serve in the Ulster Special Constabulary and, upon its stand down, joined the Ulster Defence Regiment.

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