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Un v eil i ng Cer e mon y i n t he pr esence of

HR H T he Duk e of K en t, KG Gr a nd M a s t er T u esday 2 5 A pr il 2 017


For ewor d by Field M a r sh a l HR H The Duk e of K ent, KG I welcome you to this special service to commemorate the valour of 64 former members who were awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War. I




to welcome the descendants of some






honouring today. Over the last three hundred years





welcomed into membership many of

highest accolade should become part

those who served their country in

of Freemasons’ Hall, which itself is

the Armed Forces and the Volunteer

a permanent memorial to the over

Reserve. Some of them achieved

three thousand of our Brethren who

great distinction but all of them

gave their lives on active service

served to protect their country and

during the First World War.

communities, particularly in times of war and conflict. It is fitting that this permanent memorial




gallant Gr a n d M a s t er

servicemen who were awarded the


Or der of Serv ice Narration by Katie Derham

Entry of Field Marshal HRH The Duke of Kent, KG Royal Salute An extract from A Shropshire Lad A E Housman Read by In Pensioner Ray Pearson

Welcome Anthony Wilson, President of the Board of General Purposes, United Grand Lodge of England

1914 Film

Reading Simon Dean OBE, grandson of Donald Dean VC

Regimental March of The Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) The Queensman Band of the Grenadier Guards

The Western Front Film

Reading Colonel Brian Lees LVO, OBE, Chairman of the Rifles Light Infantry and KOYLI Regimental Association, regiment of Oliver Watson VC and Lieutenant Colonel Matt Baker, Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion, The Rifles

Bring Him Home North London Military Wives Choir

Reading Sebastian Cator, pupil at Harrow School, which was attended by Richard Willis VC


Exhortation Brigadier Willie Shackell CBE, Grand Secretary, United Grand Lodge of England

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them. Response: We will remember them. The Last Post Band of the Grenadier Guards

One minute silence Reveille Unveiling of the Memorial Stones Rondeau from Abdelazer Blessing of the Stones Reverend Canon Michael Wilson, Grand Chaplain, United Grand Lodge of England

National Anthem Field Marshal HRH The Duke of Kent, KG inspects the Memorial Stones Farewell to Band The Band of the Grenadier Guards will be playing by kind permission of Major General BJ Bathurst CBE, Major General Commanding the Household Division Film footage courtesy of Imperial War Museums and the BBC


A Shropshir e L a d A E Housm a n

On the idle hill of summer, Sleepy with the flow of streams, Far I hear the steady drummer Drumming like a noise in dreams. Far and near and low and louder On the roads of earth go by, Dear to friends and food for powder, Soldiers marching, all to die. East and west on fields forgotten Bleach the bones of comrades slain, Lovely lads and dead and rotten; None that go return again. Far the calling bugles hollo, High the screaming fife replies, Gay the files of scarlet follow: Woman bore me, I will rise.


Dona ld John De a n 2 4 -2 6 Sep t em ber 1918 Age 21 T he Qu een ’s O w n (R oya l Wes t K en t R egi m en t) Sa in t M ich a el’s L od ge №1 27 3

As a Temporary Lieutenant in the

in all the post was attacked, and

8th Battalion, The Queen’s Own

on each occasion the attack was

(Royal West Kent Regiment), in

repulsed. Throughout the whole

the north-west of Lens, France,

of this time Lieutenant Dean

Dean with his platoon held an

inspired his command with his own

advance post established in a newly

contempt of danger and set the

captured enemy trench. The post

highest example of valour, leadership

was ill-prepared for defence and the

and devotion to duty. He later

Lieutenant worked unceasingly with

achieved the rank of colonel and

his men consolidating the position,

served in the Second World War.

under very heavy fire. Five times


Oli v er C y r il Spencer Watson 2 8 M a rch 1918 Aged 41 T he K ing ’s O w n ( Yor k shir e Light Infa n t r y) L odd on L od ge №3 4 27

As an acting Lieutenant Colonel

and led his remaining small reserve

commanding the 2nd/5th Battalion,

to the attack, organising bombing

King’s Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry)

parties and leading attacks under

at Rossignol Woo d, north of

intense fire. Outnumbered, he finally

Hebuterne, France, he had made a

ordered his men to retire, remaining

counter-attack against the enemy

himself in a communication trench

position. At first this achieved its

to cover the retirement. The assault

objective, but as they were holding

he led was at a critical moment and

out in two improvised strong-points,

without doubt saved the line, but he

Lieutenant Colonel Watson saw

was killed covering the withdrawal.

that immediate action was necessary


R ich a r d R aymond Willis 2 5 A pr il 191 5 Age 3 8 T he L a nc a shir e F usilier s L od ge of St John a nd St Pau l №3 49

Captain Willis and three companies



difficulties, the cliffs were gained


Battalion Helles,

Headquarters were












and the position maintained. Captain



by very deadly fire from hidden

men selected by their comrades as

machine guns which caused a large

having performed the most single

number of casualties. The survivors,

acts of bravery and devotion to

however, rushed up and cut the

duty, and was awarded one of the

wire entanglements notwithstanding

famous ‘six VCs before breakfast’.




landing on W Beach, were met

the terrific fire from the enemy,





The Victor i a Cross The Victoria Cross is the highest

eminent act of valour or self-

decoration that can be conferred


on members of the British Armed

to duty in the presence of the

Forces. It was instituted by a

enemy”. Since its inception 1,363

warrant signed by HM Queen

Victoria Crosses have been awarded

Victoria on 29 January 1856 to

and 178 of those recipients (13%)

enable her to recognise conspicuous

have been Freemasons. In 1907 the

acts of gallantry by members of the

original warrant was amended to

Armed Forces, regardless of rank

allow for the medal to be awarded

or status, during the Crimean War.

posthumously and presented to the

The warrant was backdated to

recipient’s family.




1854 resulting in 111 awards to

The medal is in the form of

those involved in the Crimea. The

a bronze cross pattée on which is

Queen personally invested 62 of

superimposed a crown and lion and

the recipients at a great gathering

the simple motto “For Valour”. The

in Hyde Park on 26 June 1857.

recipient’s name, rank, number and

The Victoria Cross contin-

unit are engraved on the reverse of

ues to be awarded to those who

the suspension bar and the date of

have shown “… most conspicuous

the act for which it was awarded

bravery, or some daring or pre-

is engraved within a circle on the


reverse of the medal. The


from a red ribbon. which


Today we meet to commemorate

always been struck by Hancocks of

the English Freemasons who were

London, were originally made from

awarded the Victoria Cross during

the bronze cascabels from Russian

the First World War (1914 –

cannons seized after the siege of

19181). During that great conflict

Sebastopol. Since 1914 they have

629 Victoria Crosses were awarded,

been made of bronze cascabels ancient



3,000 English


Fr eem a sons

cannons. The last of

gav e their

that source is kept in

li v es on

a secure store and is

acti v e serv ice

estimated will provide


recipients were 64

108 (17%)

Freemasons, of



Lodges under the United


Lodge of England

another 80 to 85 Victoria Crosses. Originally



and the others members under


Grand Lodges in Scotland, Australia

which the medal is suspended was

and Canada. It is fitting that this

differentiated according to whether


or not the recipient was in the Army

part of Freemasons’ Hall, itself a

(red) or the Royal Navy (blue), but

memorial to the over 3,000 English

in 1918 HM King George V ordered

Freemasons who gave their lives on

that all medals should be suspended

active service during that war. 1




Including the North Russian Relief Force


Willi a m Robert Founta ine A ddison 9 A pr il 1916 ◆ Age 32 A r my Ch a pl a ins ’ Depa rtm en t A lder shot C a m p L od ge №1 331 For his unceasing attention to the wounded... under incessant fire and with utter disregard of personal danger. (Mesopotamia)

Dougl a s Wa lter Belcher 1 3 M ay 191 5 ◆ Age 2 5 T he L ond on R egi m en t (L ond on R ifle Br ig a de) ◆ A rts a nd Cr a f ts L od ge №33 87 By his skill and great gallantry he maintained his position during the day... and averted an attack on the flank. (Ypres, Belgium)

Eugene Paul Bennet t 5 Nov em ber 1916 ◆ Age 2 4 T he Worces t er R egi m en t L od ge of Felicit y №58 He advanced at the head [of his men] and secured the objective, consolidating his position and although wounded he remained in command setting an example of cheerfulness and resolution. (Le Transloy, France)


Spencer John Bent 1 -2 Nov em ber 1914 ◆ Age 2 3 T he E a s t L a nc a shir e R egi m en t A lder shot C a m p L od ge №1 331 ...he took command, and with great presence of mind and coolness, succeeded in holding his position. (Le Gheer, Belgium)

Willi a m A nder son Bloom field 2 4 Augus t 1916 ◆ Age 4 3 Scou t Cor ps, 2nd Sou t h A fr ic a n Moun t ed Br ig a de ◆ Concor di a L od ge №2 6 8 5 Having withdrawn to a new position he found one of his wounded men had been left behind. Unmindful of personal danger he succeeded in reaching Corporal Bowker and [carried] him back. (Mlali, German East Africa)

C u thbert Brom le y 2 5 A pr il 191 5 ◆ Age 3 6 T he L a nc a shir e F usilier s In v ic ta L od ge №2 4 4 0 [Despite] deadly fire from hidden machine guns and being severely wounded he continued to lead his men. The cliffs were gained and the position maintained. (Gallipoli)


H a r ry C ator 9 A pr il 1917 ◆ Age 2 3 T he E a s t Su r r e y R egi m en t Wa nder er s ’ L od ge №16 0 4 Although advancing over open ground under hostile machine gun fire he reached the trench and continued to hold that end of it with the Lewis gun. 100 prisoners and five machine guns were captured. (Arras, France)

John A le x a nder Chr istie 21 Decem ber 1917 ◆ Age 2 2 T he L ond on R egi m en t (Finsbu r y R ifles) Com m erci a l T r av eller s L od ge №2795 In the open and on his own he continued to bomb the enemy. He undoubtedly cleared a difficult position at a most critical time and saved many lives. (Palestine)

Willi a m He w Cl a r k-K ennedy 27-2 8 Augus t 1918 ◆ Age 39 2 4t h Bat ta lion, C a n a di a n E x pedition a r y Force ◆ Sa in t Pau l’s L od ge №374 Appreciating the vital importance of his position, by sheer personality he inspired his men and led them forward to secure objectives. The next day through valorous leadership he finally established a strong defensive position. (Chérisy, France)


John Sta nhope Collings-Wells 2 2 -27 M a rch 1918 ◆ Aged 37 T he Bedfor dshir e R egi m en t A pollo Uni v er sit y L od ge №35 7 After six days’ continuous fighting, he led the attack, and even when severely wounded he continued to lead until he was killed at the moment of gaining the objective. (Albert, France)

Edwa r d Cooper 16 Augus t 1917 ◆ Age 21 T he K ing ’s R oya l R ifle Cor ps St John ’s L od ge №8 0 Enemy machine gun fire from a blockhouse was holding up the battalion’s advance. With four men he rushed forward firing into an opening in the blockhouse. Firing ceased. Seven machine guns and 45 prisoners were captured. (Ypres, Belgium)

Robert Edwa r d Cruick sh a nk 1 M ay 1918 ◆ Age 29 T he L ond on R egi m en t (L ond on Scot tish) St Veda s t L od ge № 4 033 For conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during an attack. Although severely injured and under heavy fire he displayed the utmost valour and endurance until his position was relieved. (El Haud, Transjordan)


Henry Da lziel 4 Ju ly 1918 ◆ Age 2 5 1 5 t h Bat ta lion, Aus t r a li a n I m per i a l Force Duk e of Conn aught L od ge №3358 Having silenced every gun in one direction, an enemy gun opened up from a different direction. He dashed at it with his revolver, captured the crew and allowed the advance to continue. (Vaire, France)

H a r ry Da niels 1 2 M a rch 191 5 ◆ Age 3 0 T he R ifle Br ig a de ( T he Pr ince Consort ’s O w n) ◆ A lder shot C a m p L od ge №1 331 When the battalion advance was halted by wire, he rushed forward and under heavy fire, cut the wires allowing the advance to continue. (Neuve Chapelle, France)

Dona ld John De a n 2 4 -2 6 Sep t em ber 1918 ◆ Age 21 T he Qu een ’s O w n (R oya l Wes t K en t R egi m en t) ◆ Sa in t M ich a el’s L od ge №1 27 3 Whilst holding an advance post, which was heavily attacked on five occasions, each attack was repulsed. He inspired his men with his own contempt for danger. (Lens, France)


John Henry Stephen Dim m er 1 2 Nov em ber 1914 ◆ Age 31 T he K ing ’s R oya l R ifle Cor ps Pen ta ngle L od ge №1 174 Shot five times, he continued to man his machine gun until it was destroyed by enemy fire. He was an inspiration. (Klein Zillebeke, Belgium)

Cl aude Congr e v e Dobson 18 Augus t 1919 ◆ Age 3 4 R oya l N av y N av y L od ge №2 61 2 Commanding Coastal Motor Boat №31 he passed into Kronstadt Harbour under heavy machine gun fire, torpedoed the battleship Andrei Pervozvann, and escaped under heavy fire showing conspicuous gallantry and skill. (Kronstadt, Russia)

George Thom a s Dor r ell 1 Sep t em ber 1914 ◆ Age 3 4 R oya l Hor se A rtiller y Cor in t hi a n L od ge №3 0 93 Devotion to duty by serving his gun until all ammunition was expended, his officers had been killed and under heavy enemy fire. (Néry, France)


Geoffr e y Hene age Drum mond 9 -10 M ay 1918 ◆ Age 32 R oya l N ava l Volun t eer R eserv e R oya l N ava l Volun t eer R eserv e L od ge №392 3 Although severely wounded he remained on the bridge of Motor Launch 254 navigating into Ostend harbour and with indomitable courage rescued most of the crew of the Vindictive. (Ostend, Belgium)

Willi a m John George E va ns 3 0 Ju ly 1916 ◆ Age 4 0 T he M a nches t er R egi m en t Wilton L od ge №107 7 He volunteered to take an important message back; five had been killed in previous attempts but under heavy fire he succeeded in delivering the message and returning showing conspicuous bravery. (Guillemont, France)

Willi a m Fr eder ick Faulds 16 & 18 Ju ly 1916 ◆ Age 21 1s t R egi m en t, 1s t Sou t h A fr ic a n Infa n t r y Br ig a de ◆ M er idi a n L od ge №14 69 On a number of occasions he unflinchingly risked his life by rescuing wounded men and carrying them to safety although under heavy fire. (Delville Wood, France)


Nor m a n August us Finch 2 2 -2 3 A pr il 1918 ◆ Age 27 R oya l M a r ine A rtiller y L od ge of Hope №21 53 Manning the pompoms and Lewis gun of Vindictive he kept up continuous fire on land targets until the fore-top received a direct hit; severely wounded he showed consummate bravery manning the gun until completely put out of action. (Zeebrugge, Belgium)

A rthur Ja m es Ter ence Flem ing -Sa ndes 29 Sep t em ber 191 5 ◆ Age 21 T he E a s t Su r r e y R egi m en t K h a rtoum L od ge №2 87 7 He led by example; seeing his men were exhausted he collected a few bombs jumped on the parapet and threw them at the enemy. Although wounded he continued to advance. This gallant act put new heart into his men and saved his situation. (Haisnes, France)

Ber na r d C y r il Fr e y berg 1 3 -14 Nov em ber 1916 ◆ Age 27 T he Qu een ’s (R oya l Wes t Su r r e y R egi m en t) Household Br ig a de L od ge №2 614 He inspired all with his personality, valour and utter contempt for danger leading the assault – many prisoners were captured, enabling the position to be held. (Beaucourt-sur-l’Ancre, France)


Robert Gee 3 0 Nov em ber 1917 ◆ Age 41 T he R oya l F usilier s (Cit y of L ond on R egi m en t) ◆ R oll C a ll L od ge №2 52 3 Most conspicuous bravery, initiative and determination. When brigade HQ was captured he escaped, organised a counter attack and retook the position. Then with a revolver in each hand he attacked a machine gun, killing the crew of eight. (Masnières, France)

Viscount Gort 27 Sep t em ber 1918 ◆ Age 32 Gr en a dier Gua r ds Household Br ig a de L od ge №2 614 The successful advance across the Canal du Nord was mainly due to the valour, skilful leading and devotion of this very gallant officer. (Flesquières, France)

Willi a m Gosling 5 A pr il 1917 ◆ Age 2 4 R oya l Field A rtiller y G o o ch L od ge №1 295 His gallant and prompt action saved the lives of his mortar detachment. When a bomb misfired he sprang out, unscrewed the fuse, and threw it on the ground where it exploded. (Arras, France)


Willi a m Henry Gr im ba ldeston 16 Augus t 1917 ◆ Age 27 K ing ’s O w n Scot tish Bor der er s De L ac y L od ge № 4 591 In spite of heavy fire from a blockhouse, he pressed on towards its entrance, threatening them with a grenade. This extraordinary courage and boldness resulted in capturing 36 prisoners and many weapons. (Ypres, Belgium)

John Elish a Gr im sh aw 2 5 A pr il 191 5 ◆ Age 2 2 T he L a nc a shir e F usilier s Ll a ng at to ck L od ge №2 5 47 One of the six VCs awarded before breakfast on 25 April 1915. Selected by his comrades as one of the most gallant. (Gallipoli)

R egina ld Leona r d H a ine 2 8 -29 A pr il 1917 ◆ Age 2 0 Honou r a ble A rtiller y Com pa n y Fit zr oy L od ge №569 His superb courage, quick decision and sound judgement were beyond praise. A splendid personal example, which inspired others to continue during more than 30 hours of continuous battle. (Gavrelle, France)


Rupert Pr ice H a llow es 2 5 -3 0 Sep t em ber 191 5 ◆ Aged 3 4 T he Duk e of C a m br id ge ’s O w n (M iddlese x R egi m en t) ◆ R osem a r y L od ge №2 8 5 1 Displayed the greatest bravery and untiring energy, setting a magnificent example to his men during four days of heavy bombardment. Although mortally wounded he was an inspiration to his men. (Hooge, Belgium)

Robert Hill H a nna 21 Augus t 1917 ◆ Age 3 0 29 t h Bat ta lion, C a n a di a n E x pedition a r y Force ◆ C a n a da L od ge №3527 He coolly led his men against a strong point, displaying courage and personal bravery of the highest order. His daring action and determined leadership ensured success. (Lens, France)

A lfr ed Cecil Her r ing 2 3 -2 4 M a rch 1918 ◆ Age 29 A r my Serv ice Cor ps H a m ps t e a d L od ge №2 4 0 8 Although surrounded, he counter attacked and retook his position taking many prisoners. His magnificent heroism, coupled with skilful handling of his men led to his success. (Remigny, France)


Ja m es Pa l m er Huffa m 31 Augus t 1918 ◆ Age 21 T he Duk e of Wellington ’s ( Wes t R iding R egi m en t) ◆ St Dav id’s L od ge №393 Twice he attacked machine gun posts, putting the first out of action and capturing eight prisoners in the second. He showed the utmost gallantry, conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. (Monchy-le-Preux, France)

Dudle y Gr a h a m Johnson 4 Nov em ber 1918 ◆ Age 3 4 T he Sou t h Wa les Bor der er s Bow y er L od ge №103 6 During repeated attempts to cross the Sambre Canal his conduct was a fine example of great valour, coolness and intrepidity which added to his splendid leadership and offensive spirit inspired his men for a successful crossing. (Catillon, France)

John Chipm a n K er r 16 Sep t em ber 1916 ◆ Age 29 49 t h Bat ta lion, C a n a di a n E x pedition a r y Force ◆ El s t r ee L od ge №3 0 92 When bombs were running short he ran along the parados under heavy fire, he opened fire and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy who thought they were surrounded. 62 prisoners surrendered to him; quick thinking yet conspicuous bravery. (Courcelette, France)


Fr eder ick Willi a m Lum sden 3 A pr il 1917 ◆ Age 4 4 R oya l M a r ine A rtiller y N av y L od ge №2 61 2 For retrieving six enemy field guns under intense enemy fire. By force of example, utter determination and inspiring energy he succeeded in sending the guns back. (St Quentin, France)

Gr a h a m Thom son Lya ll 27 Sep t em ber 1918 ◆ Age 2 6 102nd Bat ta lion, C a n a di a n E x pedition a r y Force L od ge of H a r mon y a nd Indus t r y №3 81 Through two days of operations he captured 185 prisoners and 27 guns. His skilful leadership showed the utmost valour and high powers of command. (Bourlon Wood and Blécourt, France)

C y r il Gor don M a rtin 1 2 M a rch 191 5 ◆ Age 2 3 Cor ps of R oya l Engineer s K h a rtoum L od ge №2 87 7 With a party of six infantry bombers under intense enemy fire he held back enemy reinforcements for over two and a half hours before being ordered to withdraw. (Spanbroekmoelen, Belgium)


Tom Fletcher M ayson 31 Ju ly 1917 ◆ Age 2 3 T he K ing ’s O w n (R oya l L a nc a s t er R egi m en t) ◆ Whit w ell L od ge №1 39 0 Twice leading a charge against machine gun posts and putting them out of action, he finally took command during an enemy counter attack. He held the position until told to retire, displaying remarkable valour and initiative. (Wieltje, Belgium)

Er ic A rchiba ld McNa ir 14 Febr ua r y 1916 ◆ Age 21 T he R oya l Susse x R egi m en t A pollo Uni v er sit y L od ge №35 7 When the enemy exploded a bomb under his position, he reacted instantly driving the enemy back and bringing in reinforcements. His prompt, plucky action and example, saved the situation. (Hooge, Belgium)

Edga r K inghor n My les 9 A pr il 1916 ◆ Age 21 T he Wel sh R egi m en t E xcel sior L od ge №2 8 32 On many occasions he went out alone in front of the trenches to bring back the wounded oblivious to the dangers and at great personal risk. (Sanna-i-Yat, Mesopotamia)


Philip Ne a m e 19 Decem ber 1914 ◆ Age 2 6 Cor ps of R oya l Engineer s Old Cheltoni a n L od ge №32 2 3 Leaving his Sappers to finish their task he went to the aid of a West Yorkshire bombing squad in the midst of the battle; he held off the enemy, his conspicuous bravery allowing many wounded to be rescued. (Neuve Chapelle, France)

Dav id Nelson 1 Sep t em ber 1914 ◆ Age 2 8 R oya l Hor se A rtiller y Pr ior y L od ge №10 0 0 During a holding action by his battery and although badly wounded, he continued to bring his guns into action, a conspicuous act of bravery. (Néry, France)

Er nest Her bert Pitcher 8 Augus t 1917 ◆ Age 2 8 R oya l N av y Unit ed Serv ice L od ge №14 2 8 With his ship under attack from an enemy submarine he continued to man his gun and direct effective fire. For his exceptional gallantry he was selected by the gun crew to receive the award. (Bay of Biscay)


Fr eder ick Willi a m Ow en Pot ts 21 Augus t 191 5 ◆ Age 2 2 Ber k shir e Yeom a nr y A lder m a s ton L od ge №276 0 Wounded and under heavy fire he remained with a severely injured soldier for 48 hours before dragging him back to safety. His bravery and devotion to his comrade saved his life. (Suvla Bay, Gallipoli)

A rthur Her bert Proc ter 4 June 1916 ◆ Age 2 5 T he K ing ’s (Li v er po ol R egi m en t) Chol mondele y L od ge №19 0 8 Seeing wounded men in front of him, he left the trenches and under heavy fire dressed their wounds and cheered them up. His devotion and care of his comrades saved their lives. They were rescued after dark. (Ficheux, France)

Thom a s Edwa r d R endle 2 0 Nov em ber 1914 ◆ Age 29 T he Duk e of Cor n wa ll’s Light Infa n t r y Needles L od ge №2 8 3 8 As a stretcher bearer he spent the day rescuing many comrades, during this action, on his back, feet under their arms he dragged many to safety. Such bravery and devotion. (Wulverghem, Belgium)


Dougl a s R e ynolds 2 6 Augus t 1914 ◆ Age 31 R oya l Field A rtiller y K itchener L od ge №29 98 Through determination and personal example he got his guns to safety in the face of the enemy advance, an act of extreme gallantry. (Le Cateau, France)

Ch a r les Gr a h a m Robertson 8 - 9 M a rch 1918 ◆ Age 3 8 T he R oya l F usilier s (Cit y of L ond on R egi m en t) ◆ De a ner y L od ge №3 07 1 Realising he was cut off, his most determined resistance and fighting spirit prevented an enemy advance. His initiative, resource and devotion to duty were duly recognised. (Polderhoek Chateau, Belgium)

Er ic Ga scoigne Robinson 2 5 A pr il 191 5 ◆ Age 32 R oya l N av y N av y L od ge №2 61 2 He advanced alone on enemy gun positions destroying two large guns, he then led four attacks across minefields under heavy fire displaying conspicuous bravery and outstanding leadership. (Dardanelles)


John Sherwood -K elly 2 0 Nov em ber 1917 ◆ Age 37 Nor folk R egi m en t Au t hor s L od ge №3 4 56 Coming under fire from across the canal, with great gallantry he inspired confidence in his men. His example, fearless leadership and devotion to duty ensured the capture of the objective. (Marcoing, France)

John A le x a nder Sinton 8 -21 Ja n ua r y 1916 ◆ Age 31 Indi a n M edic a l Serv ice , Indi a n A r my T r i une Br ot her ho od L od ge №21 21 Over a two week period, although shot in both arms and in the side he remained continually at his post displaying the utmost bravery. (Mesopotamia)

John George Smy th 18 M ay 191 5 ◆ Age 21 1 5 t h Lu dhi a n a Sik hs, Indi a n A r my Fa r r ier s L od ge №6 3 0 5 Where others had failed, he led a bombing party, under enemy fire, which killed eight of his ten men. He reached his objective displaying resolve and conspicuous bravery. (Festubert, France)


Rona ld Neil St ua rt 7 June 1917 ◆ Age 3 0 R oya l N ava l R eserv e D ow nshir e L od ge №594 HMS Pargust disguised as a merchant ship, encounterd an enemy submarine. The submarine was sunk and the Pargust severely damaged. Selected by the crew for acts of courage and bravery. (North Atlantic)

Hugo Vi v i a n Hope Throssell 29 -3 0 Augus t 191 5 ◆ Age 3 0 10 t h Light Hor se R egi m en t, Aus t r a li a n I m per i a l Force Bu lw er L od ge of C a ir o №10 6 8 Although severely wounded he refused to leave his post until the danger had passed. His personal courage and example kept up spirits and saved the situation. (Hill 60, Gallipoli)

A lfr ed M aur ice Toy e 2 5 M a rch - 2 4 A pr il 1918 ◆ Age 2 0 T he Duk e of C a m br id ge ’s O w n (M iddlese x R egi m en t) ◆ Gr eci a L od ge №1 10 5 On a number of occasions he seized the initiative and restored a critical situation. His valour and skilful leading throughout this prolonged period was most conspicuous. (Rosières, Caix, Moreuil - France)


Oli v er C y r il Spencer Watson 2 8 M a rch 1918 ◆ Aged 41 T he K ing ’s O w n ( Yor k shir e Light Infa n t r y) L odd on L od ge №3 4 27 At a critical moment, he led the assault. He held his life as nothing, his splendid bravery inspired his troops; such selfsacrificing devotion and exceptionally gallant leading, knowing he faced almost certain death. (Gommecourt, France)

George C a m pbell Wheeler 2 3 Febr ua r y 1917 ◆ Age 3 6 9 t h Gu r k h a R ifles, Indi a n A r my Si wa lik L od ge №2939 He crossed a river with eight men, charged an enemy position, then repelled a counter-attack, in spite of wounds they held the position displaying a boldness, determination and great bravery. (Shumran Peninsula, Mesopotamia)

Willi a m A llison White 18 Sep t em ber 1918 ◆ Age 2 3 M achine Gun Cor ps St Luk e ’s L od ge №14 4 Three times he charged ahead and captured enemy guns and positions. His example of fearless and unhesitating devotion to duty under great personal danger inspired his troops and had a marked effect on the battle. (Gouzeaucourt, France)


A lfr ed Wilcox 1 2 Sep t em ber 1918 ◆ Age 33 T he Ox for dshir e a nd Buck ingh a m shir e Light Infa n t r y ◆ L od ge of Isr a el №1474 When his company was held up, on his own initiative he rushed ahead four times, each time successfully capturing guns, displaying exceptional valour, judgement and initiative. (Laventie, France)

R ich a r d R aymond Willis 2 5 A pr il 191 5 ◆ Age 3 8 T he L a nc a shir e F usilier s L od ge of St John a nd St Pau l №3 49 There were many acts of bravery before breakfast on 25 April 1915. He was selected by his comrades as having performed the most single acts of bravery and devotion to duty. (Cape Helles, Gallipoli)


Wilfr ed Wood 2 8 O c tober 1918 ◆ Age 21 T he Nort h um ber l a nd F usilier s G a r r ick L od ge № 4 2 4 6 When the advance was held up he ran forward firing his Lewis gun from the hip, he captured over 160 in this action. His conspicuous valour and initiative in the face of intense rifle fire was beyond praise. (Casa Van, Italy)

George H a r ry W yat t 2 5 -2 6 Augus t 1914 ◆ Age 27 Colds t r e a m Gua r ds Sun, Squa r e a nd Com pa sses L od ge №1 19 Positioned in a farm yard, enemy fire ignited a straw stack. Under heavy fire he put out the blaze. Subsequently, although wounded in the head, he continued to fight showing conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. (Landrecies and Villers-Cotterêts, France)


Fr eem a sonry a nd the Milita ry With their shared values of service

next 100 years nearly 400 travelling

and camaraderie it is not surprising

warrants were issued to military

that there have been close links

Lodges, 160 from the English Grand

between Freemasonry and members of

Lodge, 40 from Scotland and nearly

the Armed Services since the earliest

200 from Ireland.

days of organised Freemasonry.

Membership of travelling military

The earliest known Lodge with

Lodges was supposed to be limited

military connections was formed by

to those serving in the particular

the Grand Lodge of England to meet

regiment but, inevitably, they took in

in “The Garrison on Gibraltar� in

civilians. When the regiment moved

1729. Its membership was drawn from

on those civilian members contacted

members of regiments stationed there

one of the British Grand Lodges to

and local civilians.

have authority to meet as a stationary

Regiments being often on the

Lodge. As a result the spread of

move, in 1734 the Irish Grand Lodge





issued a travelling warrant to a military

development of the British Empire.

Lodge allowing it to meet wherever

In the 1850s, because of political

the regiment was stationed. Over the

turmoil in Europe and the recent


Crimean War, there was a growing

They provide an opportunity for

movement to form local volunteer

their serving members to enjoy their

regiments to defend the country

Freemasonry and for retired members

against possible invasion. Many of

to continue their association with their

those involved were also Freemasons

particular unit.

and began to form Lodges drawing

The two World Wars had a great

members from the volunteer regiments.

effect on English Freemasonry. In the

Those regiments

volunteer became

the Territorial Army, now the Volunteer Reserve, and still have Masonic connections.

three years after the

Wor ld Wa r s had a gr e at effect on English Fr eem a sonry




over 350 new Lodges were set up and in the three years after the Second World

Since the late 19th century many

War nearly 600 new Lodges came into

stationary Lodges have been formed

being. In many cases the founders of

in London and near major Army,

those Lodges were servicemen who

Royal Navy, Royal Marine and Royal

wanted to continue the camaraderie

Air Force bases in England. Some

they had built up during their war

are open to all serving and former

service, and were looking for a calm

service personnel, others relate to a

centre in a greatly changed and

particular regiment or service unit.

changing world.


“O ne serv ice mor e w e da r e to a sk– Pr ay for us, heroes, pr ay, Th at w hen Fate l ays on us our ta sk We do not sh a me the Day!” ‘T he Veter a ns ’ R u dya r d K ipling Hope a nd Per se v er a nce Lodge № 782


Unit ed Gr a nd L od ge of Engl a nd, Fr ee m a sons ’ H a l l , Gr e at Q u een St r ee t, L ond on WC 2B 5A Z w w w.ugl e .or g .u k

In honour of Freemasons awarded the Victoria Cross during the Great War  
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