The Lodge of Endeavour No 7036 has a number of serving and ex-service personnel as members of the lodge. As a result, the lodge has developed an interest/attachment to the military and continues to attract members from the armed services as well as the Police and Prison Service.
The lodge holds an annual Festival of Remembrance at its November meeting and has raised a considerable amount of money for military charitable causes.
Major Stuart Simpson, who is a past master of Lodge of Endeavour and a continuing member of the lodge, is currently serving as the Quartermaster of Balaklava Company, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland at Redford Infantry Barracks, Edinburgh. Balaklava Company is a public duties incremental company which carries out all state ceremonial public duties in Scotland.
Her Majesty The Queen’s Royal Guard 2017 is furnished by Balaklava Company. A major part of the unit’s duty is to assist in ensuring the safety of the Royal Family during their summer break at Balmoral Castle. Major Simpson was part of the Royal Guard when he was a private soldier some 34 years ago.
He says that: “Nothing has really changed in all those years, apart from a few grey hairs and modern technology, but it is very humbling to be in the presence of Her Majesty on a daily basis, including escorting the Royal Family to Crathie Kirk (church) each Sunday.”
Major Simpson is about to deploy on a two-year loan service assignment to Jordan and will work exclusively with the Jordanian Armed Forces as a key advisor and mentor in war fighting operations.
Stuart enlisted into the Army in January 1983 at The Scottish Division Depot, Glencorse and on completion of training joined the 1st Battalion The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment).
He has served with The Royal Scots in the United Kingdom, The Falkland Islands, Germany (including Berlin), Belize, Canada, Kenya, United States of America, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. Before commissioning he had the privilege of being the Academy Sergeant Major at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. In April 2010, he was commissioned into The Royal Regiment of Scotland.
On completion of his tour at the Defence Academy he was assigned to 2 R WELSH as Fire Support Company Second in Command, a job which he thoroughly enjoyed, particularly during war fighting operations in Afghanistan. Major Simpson has much experience working with foreign military and indigenous forces as an advisor and mentor in Afghanistan and latterly in Kuwait with the Kuwait Armed Forces.
Despite his ongoing military duties, when service postings permit, Stuart continues to attend lodge meetings, making the journey from his home in Edinburgh on a regular basis. Despite his military commitments Stuart keeps up his membership of the lodge as he intends to move to the Leyland area when he finally retires from the Army.