Eric Hugh Montgomery of Montgomery
Sovereign Grand Commander (1972 - Present)
Eric Hugh Montgomery, known as Hugh Montgomery became Grand Commander of the Order in 1984. When he took command there were very few members mainly as a result of the ravages of two World Wars, indeed after the Second World War there were only three members. The last SGC had been King Leopold of Belgium while exiled in England but after he returned to Belgium took no further active part in the Order. Leopold’s deputy was John Montgomery uncle of the current SGC and he continued to run the Order until his death when all the papers and records where passed over to Hugh’s cousin another John Montgomery who subsequently passed them over to Hugh when he became SGC. Until that time the Fleur de Lys had been a hereditary Order confined to about sixty-four Scottish and European families mainly Scottish and French in origin. Because members of these families showed little interest in being a part of the Order at that time, Hugh decided to open it up to non-family members.
Eric Hugh Montgomery born on 18th November 1938 was the second son of Sir Robert Mortimer Montgomery KC a barrister, treasurer of the Inner Temple, Recorder of Chester from 1926- 1948, School Administrator, legal writer, Liberal party politician and his second wife Zilla Mary (nee Stevenson), the family home being in Highgate, North London. He was initially educated at the Dragon School Oxford (whose Alumni include the poet John Betjeman, the historian Antonia Fraser, the Labour Party Leader Hugh Gaitskill and two sons of JRR Tolkien and later at Highgate School North London (where the priest poet Gerald Manley Hopkins was also educated and the Nobel Prize winning poet T.S.Elliott taught John Betjeman).
Highgate School was founded in 1565 by a Royal Charter of Elizabeth I, whose letters patent, sealed on 29 January, authorised Sir Roger Cholmeley to establish the ‘’’Free Grammar School of Sir Roger Cholmeley, Knight at Highgate. Past pupils of Highgate School are known as Cholmeleians.
Highgate School Coat of Arms
Eric Hugh Montgomery Sovereign Grand Commander as Drum Major at Highgate School in 1956
Highgate was evacuated during the war and did not return to Highgate until 1946. During this time and for several years afterwards the heavy responsibility fell upon the then Headmaster, Geoffrey Bell. Heads after him have taken credit for many innovations that they have made, but it is fair to say, that without Geoff Bell (The Pate) there would have been no Highgate School for them to take over.
Hugh gained his colours for football, became head of house of Eastgate, conducted the winning unison choir and became Drum-Major of the first CCF band and corps of drums of the school cadet force since the end of WWII.
Following his A level results Hugh gained admission to Kings College London in order to study law. However, he was quickly called up for National Service, granted a National Service Commission which subsequently became a Short Service Commission and was attached initially to the Royal Scots Greys where he served with the Duke of Kent. His service took him to Malaya (where he was temporarily assigned to the 7th Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Gurkha Rifles) and Cyprus, latterly with the 1st Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. In 2007 the SGC was honoured by being presented with the Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal by the Military Attaché of the Malaysian High Commission, the award being given to veterans as a thank you for helping Malaya to Independence.
The Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal was awarded to the Sovereign Grand Commander for Distinguished Chivalry, Gallantry, Sacrifice and Loyalty
Following his army service Hugh worked abroad for several British companies, conducting business operations in the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.
All in all, he spent ten years in Latin America, seven years in Africa, two in the Far East and two in the Middle East. Between 1974 and 1976 he was an external student at Sussex College of Technology. He was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy in Audiology in South Africa for his invention, design and production of the first Mobile Industrial Audiometric testing booth while working for EMI (who still hold the patent). In 1994 he was awarded a diploma in contract law from the University of Wolverhampton. Hugh married his first wife Edith Elizabeth Schubert-Klein of Santiago, Chile in 1960 and returned with her to Chile. There are two children of this marriage Karin Sylvia born in 1961 and Robert-Ian born in 1965. The couple were divorced in 1975.
For a number of years Hugh held the position of Professor and President of the Megatrend University of Applied Sciences in Belgrade Serbia where he lectured in history, economics and politics. It was at that time Hugh wrote his professorial paper “The Montgomery Millennium, The Norman Families and the Conquest of England “which was submitted to the University of Belgrade. He was formerly a Director of Nucleus Agency Ltd and became secretary of West London Business School a wholly owned subsidiary of the Megatrend University. A founding fellow of the Institution of Diagnostic Engineers he is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and speaks German French and Spanish. In 2010 Hugh was awarded the European Universities Gold medal for his personal contribution to European Education and Culture.
Upon his retirement from his post in Serbia, Hugh took up residence in the Staffordshire town of Uttoxeter where he became a local councillor and was instrumental in that town becoming a “Portas Pilot” town, implementing the recommendations of Mary Portas regarding urban renewal.
He subsequently served as the town’s Mayor.
Following a triple heart bypass Hugh retired from politics but in 2015 following his operation started working with the British Heart Foundation and assisted his wife Hermione to set up the “Uttoxeter Heart Support Group.” The group supports patients with heart conditions with advice and support being given by people who have had first-hand experience. This group has also provided new heart monitors for the town’s leisure centre where heart patients go for rehabilitation as well as raising funds to help provide more equipment for the community.
Growth of the Order of the Fleur De Lys
During his tenure as Sovereign Grand Commander the Order has grown considerably, there are now seven companies and with new postulants being admitted, this year the Order will have over two hundred Members.
Hugh Montgomery is also a published scholar of medieval history; in addition to publishing “The Montgomery Millennium” which charted his own family history back to Roger Montgomery and the Dukes of Normandy who invaded England in 1066 he has also produced a four book series on the God Kings of England and Europe, tracing the descendants of Jesus through the Odonic and Davidic dynasties.