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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

The FREEMASONS


johnboy
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I have edited a couple of posts that contained inappropriate personal comments, and removed a response. Members are entirely entitled to their opinions, but not to show a lack of respect.

That applies to all.

Keith Roberts

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I stand corrected Simon. After a quick flip on the internet, I saw a reference to Household Brigade Lodge no 2614. Did this refer to the Royal household or an army reference [brigade]?

I have seen references in the 1700's of moveable lodges being set up for masons away from home on military service but nothing the same for WW1.

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As you correctly point out the OP question has been answered in posts 4 & 7.

I am sorry that you seem to find my providing additional information on the subject unnecessary. It wouldn't be much of a discussion forum if all posts consisted of a question, an answer and no further discussion.

Andy

I didn't say it was unnecessary - merely pointed out that the original question had been answered. Sometimes however threads do meander a long way from the original matter to the point that one wonders if a good part of them would be better as a separate item with a title that was more descriptive of what is being discussed so that someone looking down the contents lists might more easily find something of specific interest to them. For example in this case someone with an interest in POW life might be more interested in Freemasonic activities in the camps than in the subject of the raising of particular battalions but they wouldn't know from the title of the thread that it contained any such thing.

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I stand corrected Simon. After a quick flip on the internet, I saw a reference to Household Brigade Lodge no 2614. Did this refer to the Royal household or an army reference [brigade]?

I have seen references in the 1700's of moveable lodges being set up for masons away from home on military service but nothing the same for WW1.

I'll leave that one to Andy as it's a Smoker :)

Cheers,

Simon

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Suspending my innate (and probably inane) sense of fun for a few minutes, in deference to the OP and the spirit of the thread: To the first part of the original question, the answer is no. The second part is altogether more complicated and very interesting. Adding to Andy's interesting assignment piece, UGLE passed a dictate in 1915 that'...all Brethren of German, Austrian, Hungarian or Turkish birth' were required to cease attending Lodges under UGLE jurisdiction for the duration. However, when one lodge permanently excluded a German member because 'in [his] heart he hoped Germany would win', UGLE removed the Warrant of the lodge in question on the basis that it had broken the Constitutional rules of the Craft in excluding a member without sufficient cause. Masonry Universal; Awkward. The Lodge did not regain its warrant until after hostilities ceased. In these circumstances it should have been impossible for UGLE to directly support battalions in the field or supply munitions, equipment or support at home. I would put my own fiver on the fact that many lodges did just that on a private basis.

Cheers,

Simon

That would be a tough one to police. It also suggests that The Grand Lodge was supporting the allies which is a bit hard on those considered enemies. This is particularly the case when members are supposed to be "brothers". It is all an interesting subject for me, because my stepfather was a Freemason but our Presbyterian Church in Cromarty would not let the subject be mentioned. It was strictly Taboo and any questions were rapidly halted to the point that as children we thought the Freemasons some sort of Devil Cult. (I am serious!)

Hazel

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Just out of interest, the Freemasons issued their own war medal to members who had served in the war. This took the form of a cross, inscribed on the reverse with the man's name and his lodge.

TR

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This is part of a group to brother 2754 P Lovett, with one other masonic item and a defence and war medal for WWII, unfortunately missing a BWM for service in India.

Lars

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Would I be right in thinking that entry to the Masons was restricted to those of the rank of corporal and above?

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Lars.....looks like a Hallstone Jewel.

Bruce

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I'll leave that one to Andy as it's a Smoker :)

Thanks Simon - You are so kind :)

Andy

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I stand corrected Simon. After a quick flip on the internet, I saw a reference to Household Brigade Lodge no 2614. Did this refer to the Royal household or an army reference [brigade]?

Household Brigade would refer to the Guards: 1st and 2nd Life Guards, Royal Horse Guards, Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards and Irish Guards (in 1914).

I have no personal knowledge, but many regiments have their own Lodges - my old outfit (London Scottish) certainly have one.

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.........does this constitute 'a jewell' as worn in the lodge, or a war medal?

Most certainly a jewel, not a medal.

It is the Hall Stone jewel.

From the Library of Freemasonry information sheet:

In 1919, after the First World War Grand Lodge decided, in response to a suggestion from the M.W. The Grand Master, H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, to embark

on the building of a new headquarters for the English Craft as a memorial to the many brethren who had given their lives during the War. For this purpose a special committee was set up

in 1920 and an appeal made to every member of the Constitution for contributions to the fund which, from the target set, came to be known as the Masonic Million Memorial Fund.

Contributions to this Fund were to be entirely voluntary and were to be recognised by special commemorative jewels. These were of three types for the three categories of subscribers,

of the same basic design but of different sizes and precious metals -

(i) A medal (35.0mm) called the Masonic Million Memorial FundCommemorative Jewel on a dark blue ribbon, to be worn as a personal breast jewel by any member

of a lodge under the English Constitution subscribing to the Fund: ten guineas or more, a silver medal; one hundred guineas or more, a gold medal. Some 53,224

individual jewels were issued.

(ii) A medal (42.0mm) in gold on a light blue collarette to be worn by successive Masters of lodges contributing an average of ten guineas per member, such lodges to be known as Hall Stone Lodges (thus giving the jewel its name). 1,321 lodges at home and abroad qualified as Hall Stone Lodges; their names and numbers are inscribed on commemorative marble panels in the main ceremonial entrance vestibule of Freemasons’ Hall.

(iii) A medal (48.0mm) in gold and coloured enamels, on a dark blue Collarette, tobe worn by successive Provincial and District Grand Masters of Provinces or Districts contributing an average of five hundred guineas per lodge. Two Districts, Japan (now defunct) and Burma, and one Province, Buckinghamshire, qualified as Hall Stone Districts/Province. Certain lodge

rooms in Freemasons’ Hall were therefore named after them in recognition of their achievement, this being commemorated on a bronze pláque therein. Lodges Rooms 11, 12 and 17 were thus named respectively the Japan, the Burma and the Buckinghamshire Rooms. They are the only lodge rooms in Freemasons’ Hall distinguished in this way by a name, although only the

Buckinghamshire Room is still so called.

There are also other Masonic jewels related to the Great War such as:

The Masonic Peace Jewel

MasonicPeaceMedal.jpg

Andy

PS: if anyone finds a gold Hall Stone Jewel for sale I would be interested

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I'm quite glad this thread's meandered. I've learned a lot.

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Would I be right in thinking that entry to the Masons was restricted to those of the rank of corporal and above?

Far from it. A significant percentage of freemasons who died were of other rank with the rank of Private accounting for over 22%

I have done a breakdown of my copy of the casualties listed in the "Masonic Roll Of Honour 1914 - 1918" (Published by Freemasons' Hall, London,1921). This shows:

Private: 471 (22.12%)

L' Corp: 36 (1.67%)

Corp: 93 (4.33%)

Sgt: 201 (9.36%)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2'Lt: 240 (11.17%)

Lt: 475 (22.12%)

Capt: 417 (19.42%)

MAJ: 140 (6.52%)

Lt Col: 61 (2.84%)

Col: 9 (0.41%)

Whilst I appreciate that this book does not list all Great War fatal casualties who were freemasons; it does give a fair assessment of the breakdown according to rank of those freemasons who died.

Andy

Edited due to spelling mistakes

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.....I have no personal knowledge, but many regiments have their own Lodges - my old outfit (London Scottish) certainly have one.

Probably something to do with bare knees :)

Andy

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King George V was not a Freemason. The other three were.

There are other freemasons who became famous due to the war who were not of great military rank or priviledged birth such as Captain Charles Fryatt, Star in the East Lodge No 650

Andy

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I'm quite glad this thread's meandered. I've learned a lot.

Me too!

H.

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From Masonic Great War Project

This database is primarily taken from and based on the 1921 Masonic Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918, which was commissioned by Grand Lodge and distributed out circa Sept. 1921, and further from the Peace Memorial built at Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street which was completed in 1933.

The original document had 3064 names from all ranks and service arms and it should be noted that there are many discrepancies within which would give cause to question. e.g. Names may appear twice under different Lodges, or there are names which may be missing. Whilst these may be corrected over time, please respect the fact that the book was written in post WW1 Britain, and many reasons could exist for these errors.

This is a searchable database

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....Masonic Great War Project.....

Yes Johnboy.

Mike McCarthy, a member of GWF last active Feb 2013, is actively involved in that project. The Masonic Great War Project tend to concentrate their research on individual freemasons named on the roll of honour whilst I have broadened my research to other masonic activities during the Great War.

Andy

PS: my resaearch is independant of The Masonic Great War Project and I am not a member of that group

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Andy,I'm not questioning any of your posts which, to me have been most helpful. I roughley totted up your figures and gave those that are alledgedly on the roll. Would the roll have given civilians as well? Your research from the same source seems lighter or have names been added after publication?

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