Royston John Mastel, CBE, CVO
Born 30 may 1917 at Edmonton, father John MASTEL, mother Rosetta Caroline (GORTON), John attended Tottenham Grammar School, where he was a keen sportsman, playing rugby and cricket for the school.
John started to work for the police force as a clerical officer at the age of 17. In 1937, as soon as he was old enough he became a police constable (and had to grow a moustache because he looked so young when he was on traffic duty!)
In August 1940 he was married to Annie Kathleen JOHNSON at Aberavon (see Johnson family pages)
As soon as members of the police force were allowed to sign up, he joined the RAF, and after six weeks initial training he was sent first to Southern Rhodesia, then to Buloway, where
he qualified as a pilot. He spent most of the war flying war planes to the front . By 1943 he was a Flight Sergeant and in May 1944 was commissioned as an Officer, promoted to Flying Officer in November 1944 (see extract of his RAF Log Book below). During his time in the RAF he completed over 858 hours flying time - and flew a wide range of aircraft: from his training in a Tiger Moth, then Ensigns, Blenheims, Baltimores and Marauders through to Wellingtons, Loadstars, Dakotas, Oxfords and DC3/ DC4s.
After the war he returned to the Metropolitan Police Force, becoming a Sergeant in 1946, Inspector in 1951, Superintendent in 1955, Commander of No 2 District in 1966 and subsequently Deputy Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard, Head of Management Services Department and D Dept (Personnel). In 1972 he was made Assistant Commissioner (Personnel and Training) (see copy of the Royal Warrant issued by HM Queen Elizabeth II on his appointment). He was Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Rugby Football Club. (See also his entry on Wikipedia.)
The family moved several times in the courses of his career, living in Rose Park Ave Chingford when they were first married, then moving to Nightingale Rd in Clapton, and then The Bramblings in Highams Park, near Chingford. After the war John and Anne lived with Rose in Neville Rd, Clapton, then returned to Nightingale Rd. When John was promoted to Inspector they lived in Comburton Rd in Clapton, then, with his promotion to Superintendent they moved to Meadow Bank in Surbiton. For a while the family lived above the Police Station in West India Dock Rd in Limehouse, but when he became a Commander they moved to Glenmere Ave in Mill Hill, then to Michleham Down in Woodside Park. John was awarded the CBE in 1969, the Order of St John in 1976 and the CVO in 1977. He was painted on his horse ‘Quebec’ (see below) by the renowned artist Anna Zinkeisen, and the painting was exhibited in the Mall Galleries.
Following his retirement in 1982, John and Anne moved to South Wales, initially living in the bungalow in Ogmore and then moving to Nottage, Porthcawl. John became an enthusiastic member of the Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club and he and Anne had an active social life, often travelling to Europe and the Far East with their group of friends.
John died on 7th April 1998 at Bridgend and was cremated at Margam Crematorium.
John Mastel's medals:
Above - CVO, CBE, Order of St John, Atlantic Star, the Defence Medal, British War Medal 39-45, Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal
Right - Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO)
some photos of John's life - click to enlarge