Left to right|
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.
Web site created by Mark Griffin