ISSUE 12, January 2005

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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    Left to right
Jewel commemorating Kitchener's appointment as District Grand Master of the Sudan; two Founders jewels of Lodges named after him. These jewels were all owned and worn by Kitchener

© Library and Museum of Freemasonry

     In the Royal Arch he became First Principal of Star of the East Chapter in 1896. In the same year he was appointed Third Grand Principal of the Grand Chapter of Egypt and received the Past rank of Grand Scribe Nehemiah from the Supreme Grand Chapter of England in 1897, the year of his appointment as a Past Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of England.
     In the Mark Degree, he became Master of the Nubia Mark Lodge No. 511 in 1898. The Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England also appointed him Grand Junior Warden of the District of North Africa in the same year. Kitchener was also made an honorary member of Lodge of Edinburgh, St Mary's Chapel No. 1, Scottish Constitution.
     In November 1899, Viscount Kitchener of Khartoum was appointed Governor-General of the Sudan and the first District Grand Master of Egypt and the Sudan. Under the new re-established jurisdiction, all previous agreements with local Grand Lodges were cancelled and four new Lodges founded. Three were active in Cairo (Bulwer, Grecia and Star of the East) and one in Alexandria (Zetland). Kitchener was involved in all three Cairo Lodges, where he resided.
     On 16 December 1899, Field-Marshal Lord Roberts (an active Freemason) was appointed Commander-in-Chief of British Forces in South Africa and Major-General Lord Kitchener as chief-of-staff. On 13 March, British troops occupied Bloemfontein, and on 1 September, the British annexation of the Transvaal was announced and Roberts handed over his command to Kitchener and returned to Britain at the end of November 1900.
     It will not be a surprise to hear that Kitchener found time to visit a Masonic Lodge during the Boer War. He was present at the English Constitution Rising Star Lodge No. 1022 meeting in Bloemfontein. The first meeting of the Lodge during the war was on 5 April 1900 following the British occupation of the town. The Cape Argus reported the meeting in their 18 April 1900 issue:

a communication was received from RW Bro Lord Kitchener... expressing his regret at not being able to attend the meeting... Intimating that it was (his) intention to visit the lodge in the near future.

     Lord Kitchener attended the meeting on 23 April 1900 and signed a document, still in possession of the Lodge, proposing that a Royal Resolution be sent to the Prince of Wales concerning the health of Queen Victoria. Lord Roberts is also a signatory to this document. Kitchener's overlapping popularity as a national hero and a dedicated Freemason is reflected on the occasion of his visit to Ipswich on 22 September 1902, just before his posting from South Africa to the Punjab in India. Invited to receive the freedom of the borough, Kitchener also accepted honorary membership in the British Union Lodge No. 114, Province of Suffolk, at an emergency meeting called by the enterprising Master, G W Horsfield.
     The Lodge commissioned an 18-carat gold version of their Past Master's jewel, adding a diamond five-pointed star mounted to the centre of the square and had it inscribed:

Presented to the Right Hon. The Viscount Kitchener GCB, GCMG, Past District Grand Master of Egypt and the Sudan, by the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethren of `British Union' Lodge No. 114 September 22nd, 1902.

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