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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     At the meeting in the town hall, in the presence of some 200 Brethren, headed by the Provincial Grand Master, the Earl of Stradbroke, and Sir Charles Dalrymple MP, Past Grand Master of Scotland and many more prominent Masons, Lord Kitchener graciously accepted honorary membership of the Lodge and the jewel, ending his speech:

I thank you all very sincerely for this jewel, which I shall certainly wear - probably in India shortly, when I go there. I thank you all very much for the gift.

In October 1902, Kitchener was posted to India as commander-in-chief of the army, where he remained from 1902 till 1909 and was almost immediately appointed District Grand Master of the Punjab. He began to practise what was by now a familiar pattern of active interest in Masonic affairs. In 1903 he joined Himalayan Brotherhood Lodge No. 459 in Simla.
     In the same year he became the senior Founder Member of Kitchener Lodge No. 2998, the first of the many Lodges to which he was to give his name. In 1907 he attended a meeting of the namesake of his mother Lodge, Concordia No. 3102, in Calcutta and assisted at the initiation, passing and raising on the same day of His Majesty Habibullah Khan, the Amir of Afghanistan.
     With the outbreak of the First World War, Kitchener was called home and the Prime Minister Herbert Asquith appointed him Secretary of State for War, the first time a military man had held the post. In spring 1916, Asquith posted Kitchener to Russia in an attempt to encourage the country to maintain the fight against Germany.
     On 5 June, HMS Hampshire, on which Kitchener was sailing to Russia, struck a mine off the Orkneys. The British cruiser sank and Kitchener lost his life. It was a sad end to an amazing life. In a tribute in the Quarterly Communication of the United Grand Lodge of England on 7 June 1916, Deputy Grand Master Sir Thomas Halsey stated:

Brethren, we were all taken aback yesterday when the news arrived of the loss of our distinguished Brother and that great Englishman, Lord Kitchener... as Englishmen we owe him a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid; and England will hold his name in honour from now onwards, after all of us have passed away, into the remotest generations in the future history of our Country... Lord Kitchener sleeps in the proudest grave in which he could have been laid: in the sea, in one of our English ships, surrounded and supported by those who have so nobly upheld the name of England... Grand Lodge expresses its profound sorrow at the tragic and untimely death of RW Bro Field-Marshal Earl Kitchener of Khartoum and Aspall... The Craft mourns the loss of a distinguished Masonic administrator... (and) will ever hold in grateful regard and admiring reverence the fearless soldier and tireless organiser...

Fitting words to a great soldier and a great Freemason.

Bibliography
Kendall George, Freemasonry during the Anglo-Boer War 18991902
Khambatta Roeinton, The District Grand Lodge of the Punjab, AQC Vol 103 (1990)
Reader W J, At Duty's Call A Study in Obsolete Patriotism, (1988), Manchester University Press
Rodgers R A, History of British Union Lodge no 114, Ipswich 17621962
Stevenson F Drane, Freemasonry in Egypt: Part I, AQC 81 (1968) and Part II, AQC, Vol 82 (1969)


    A memorial card on Kitchener's death

© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis


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