Ralph was born in Ipswich. Schooling included Copleston Boys where he found an early interest in Brass & Military Band Music. As well as the Copleston School Band, he played with the Woodbridge Excelsior Band and the Suffolk Military Band. In pursuit of this interest, Ralph joined the Regular Army as a Bandsman at the age of 16. He remained with the Royal Anglian Regiment from 1973 until 1986. After initial training at Bassingbourn Barracks, he served in West Germany as part of the British Army of the Rhine. Following a return to the UK and short Op Banner Tours of Northern Ireland he was posted to Berlin for two years. The Regiment then had a two year posting to Londonderry in 1981 where he met his wife, Alice. They married in 1983. Following a tour with the United Nations Force to Cyprus and visits to the United States, the Regiment arrived back in Colchester. On completion of service with the Army as a Senior NCO, Ralph joined the Suffolk Constabulary in 1986, finally retiring from their employ in 2013.
Ralph was initiated into Doric Lodge No.81 in 1991 and became Worshipful Master in 2001. In 2003 he was appointed a Provincial Grand Steward and was Secretary of the Provincial Grand Stewards’ Lodge for five years. He received promotion to Provincial Senior Grand Deacon in 2007, Past Provincial Grand Registrar in 2014 and Provincial Senior Grand Warden in 2015.
Ralph’s Royal Arch career commenced in April 1995 when he was exalted into Royal York Chapter No.81, becoming MEZ in 2008. Provincial appointments followed as Provincial ADC in 2010. In 2013 he became Provincial Grand Charity Steward, an appointment which has allowed him to visit Chapters across the Province and meet with many of the Companions.