Captain Fredman Ashe Lincoln QC MA BCL GC STJ KCB

Former Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple and former chairman of the Association of Jewish ex-Service Men and Women, died on October 19, 1998 aged 90. He was born on October 30, 1907.

Source: The Times

Ashe Lincoln distinguished himself particularly at the Bar, in the Royal Navy and in the Jewish community. He was a recorder and deputy judge of the Crown Court, Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple and deputy world president of the International Association of Jurists and Jurers.

In the Jewish community, he served a wide variety of organisations with distinction and dedication. He was life chairman, honorary secretary and political committee chairman of the British Section of the World Jewish Congress.

The Masorti assembly of synagogues was another body in which he was particularly active as president and former chairman. He was a lifelong and dedicated Zionist and had held several leading posts in the movement.

Fredman Ashe Lincoln was born in Bradford, a son of Reuben Lincoln, who was first a minister and then a solicitor, and was educated at Hoe Grammar School, Plymouth, Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, London, and then Exeter College, Oxford. He was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1929 and took silk in 1947.

His sojourn in Plymouth enhanced his love of the sea. He joined the RNVR in 1937 and attended navigational training classes at night school and at weekends to qualify for his yachtmaster’s certificate. He joined the Royal Navy as a sub-lieutenant when the Second World War began in 1939. His book Secret Naval Investigator (1961) is a thrilling story of his exploits in the detection of mines and torpedoes. A second book of his, published earlier this year, is entitled Odyssey of a Jewish Sailor.

In the early days of the war he served in minelayers. He transferred to minesweepers and helped in the recovery of one of the first magnetic mines. For this he was mentioned in dispatches. He then volunteered for the commandos and took part in the Allied landings in Sicily and Italy. He was again mentioned in dispatches during the landings at Salerno.

He later served during the North West Europe campaign and was one of the first British officers to cross the bridge at Remagen on the Rhine – the only Rhine bridge left standing after the Germans had blown up the others. It had been brilliantly captured, before it could be demolished, by the US First Army which was as a consequence, able to establish the first Allied bridge-head on the east bank of the river.

Lincoln was national chairman of the Association of Jewish ex-Service Men and Women in 1948 and 1949, and again in 1952, when he accompanied the Duke of Edinburgh as he inspected the association’s parade at Horse Guards. He stood for Parliament in 1945 as Conservative candidate for Harrow East.

Two years later, in the same constituency, he withdrew as prospective candidate and it was said that some of the then members of the constituency association were anti-Semitic. One member resigned in protest, but the leadership of the constituency strenuously denied the allegation.

In 1950, when Lincoln was unsuccessful in his attempt to become the Conservative candidate in Willesden East, the vice-president of the local Conservative Association re-signed, again alleging anti-Jewish prejudice.

Lincoln’s practice at the Bar grew and in 1955 he was elected a Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple. As an advocate he was very sound; he was careful and above all reasonable. In his work at the Criminal Bar he was always distinguished by his lack of cynicism, a trait all too common in those regularly engaged upon such tasks.

In the City of London Lincoln was a liveryman and in 1949-50 Master of the Worshipful Company of Plasterers.

In 1933 he married Sybil Eileen Cohen, who survives him, along with their daughter and son, who is senior rabbi of Park Avenue Synagogue in New York.