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City saddened to hear of Ron Crabb's passing

Mr Exeter was a much-loved and well-known personality who served as a mace sergeant at Exeter Guildhall for 22 years

24 April 2018

Exeter City is saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Exeter – Ron Crabb BEM - a much-loved and well-known personality who served as a mace sergeant at Exeter Guildhall for 22 years.

Ron died on Monday following a short illness. He was 87 years old and during his time as Mace Sergeant he served a total of 23 mayors and lord mayors and in January was made a freeman of the city.

He was also a top-class football referee and has taken charge of games involving every team in the current Premier League with the exception of Everton!


Ron Crabb talking to Grecian Archive

Born in Dorset, Ron first stepped foot in Exeter as a young Royal Marine in 1949 and has been here ever since.

He served with the Royal Marines for eight years and was deployed predominately to the Mediterranean where he served on HMS Cleopatra and HMS Ark Royal.

When he decided to join civilian life, he remained involved with his beloved Royals, by acting as a mentor for the new recruits at the Royal Marine Commando Training Centre at Lympstone, whilst also playing an active role within the Exeter Royal Marine Association Branch.

Ron worked for the prison service in Exeter included a stint at Haldon camp.

In 1994 he joined the Guildhall and was a custodian of the cap, mace and sword for over 22 years, hanging up his robes in 2017.

He was heavily involved in Exeter twinning and visited Yaroslavl 34 times, some official visits but mostly as holidays, where he was much loved and well respected so much so that he was awarded the Russian veterans' medal.

On the football field, he still remains the first and only league referee from Exeter to officiate over games in both England and Europe. He also holds the Devon County and the National Meritorious awards from the Football Referees’ Association as well as their 50-year service award.

In 2014, Ron was elected the prime warden for Great Britain, the highest position within the Guild of Mace-Bearer. During his time as prime warden he was nominated for Radio Exe’s pride of Devon awards and was awarded the lifetime achievement award.

More importantly, he holds the imperial service medal, which was presented by the Queen, as well as the British Empire Medal, predominantly for his charitable work in the City, which was presented to him by former lord lieutenant, Sir Eric Dancer.

He was also awarded the certificate of merit by the Third Exeter Scout group for his support to the group.

Ron leaves two children Carol and Darren, three grandsons and a great-granddaughter.


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