ISSUE 12, January 2005

Editorial
Kitchener of Khartoum: Mason extraordinary
Travel: Where east meets west
Veteran Honoured: Old soldier remembered
Royal Masonic Family: The Six Masonic Sons of George III, Part 1
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech of the Pro First Grand Principal and, Report of the Committee of General Purposes
  Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and, Report of the Board of General Purposes
Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London: London's first consecration
Soccer: Man in the Middle
Wales: Joseph Parry - flawed genius?
Library & Museum: Donations gather pace
Education: Dates for your diary and, Planning a 'white table' and, Looking to the future and, Time marches on
Grand Charity: General meeting and non-Masonic grant list
Masonic Charities: Reports from the four main charities
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Above
1914: the famous World War I recruiting poster featuring Kitchener
© Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Below
A patriotic postcard of Kitchener "Unity is Strength"
© Michael Nicholson/Corbis
   

Kitchener
of Khartoum:
Mason
extraordinary


Of the many famous men who have been Freemasons, the first Earl Kitchener of Khartoum may be considered to have been the most active to patronise the Craft. In an extraordinary life, his onerous military commitment to his country was intertwined with the Masonic duties he pursued on behalf of the fraternity.
     He belonged to 15 Lodges and Chapters whilst serving as District Grand Master of Egypt and the Sudan and of the Punjab in India. He was simultaneously Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Army and later in India, culminating in his appointment as Secretary of War before his untimely death in 1916. At the time he was holding active Masonic office.
     Horatio Herbert Kitchener was born on 24 June 1850 near Ballylongford, Kerry, Ireland. Following in his father's footsteps into the army, after varied posts he moved to Egypt in 1882.
     Freemasonry was well established in the area, having been brought to Egypt in 1798 by Napoleon's armies and quickly spread through the region. From the start, high-ranking French officers were active members, encouraged by Napoleon himself.
     They introduced eminent and respected native soldiers and politicians that became the breeding ground for Kitchener to become a Freemason some 50years later. The Masonic legacy in Egypt was confused at best. French, Italian, English, Scottish and Irish jurisdictions worked at times together and at times at loggerheads. The formation of the National Grand Lodge of Egypt in 1864, warranted by the Grand Orient of Italy, only gave temporary relief to the confusion.
     The National Grand Lodge of Egypt was quickly recognised, particularly in the light of the dignitaries who headed it. Soon, however, disillusioned with the many unrecognised Degrees and Orders being practiced by the National Grand Lodge, England decided to form, for a second time, its own District Grand Lodge, which brought some semblance of order and control.
     Kitchener was 33 when he was initiated, almost certainly, in the Italian-speaking La Concordia Lodge No. 1226 in Cairo in 1883. Some doubt as to the Lodge at which he was initiated has arisen as a result of hand annotations in the records of the listing of Grand Officers in Grand Lodge in England.
The annotation states:

`presumed to have been initiated in Star in (sic) the East Lodge 1355 Egyptian Grand Lodge in 1883, OR if not there, in La Concordia No. 1226'.

     This error may have been brought about by Kitchener's details in the petitioner's warrant for the Drury Lane Lodge No. 2127 referred to below. La Concordia Lodge, consecrated with a group of other Lodges in 1868, was sadly erased in 1890 and there are no surviving records.


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