ISSUE 13, April 2005

Editorial
The Campbells are coming: At speed!
Travel: Warming to Iceland
Royal Masonic Family: The Six Masonic Sons of George III, Part II
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Pro Grand Master and: Report of the Board of General Purposes
The flying eye hospital
Beamish Museum: The million pound project
  Wigan Grand Lodge: The Liverpool rebels
Chelsea Lodge: That's entertainment
Re-enactment: The way we were and: The Russian connection
Community Service: Weathering the storm
Faith and Freemasonry: God and the Craft
Education: Researching Freemasonry on the Internet and: Masonic events
Freemasons Hall: Masons at War
Grand Charity: Report and grant list and: Support for Asian tsunami
Masonic Charities: Reports from the Masonic charities
Obituaries, Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Above
Officers jewels made from metal salvaged from a bombed bus by W Bro J R Skipper whilst a prisoner of war in Changi

        However, Freemasonry continued during the war – Grand Lodge continued to meet, by and large Lodge and Chapter meetings continued and new Lodges were established – over 350 being formed between 1943 and 1945.
    Some of these Lodges were founded as a Masonic home for those involved in the war effort. For example, Sword and Trowel Lodge No. 5847 was formed in 1942 by members of the 54th (Surrey) Battalion of the Home Guard – the Local Defence Volunteers – which was formed early in 1940, and by that summer over one million men had joined. The Venture Adventure Lodge No. 6022 was formed in 1944 for those connected with the Air Training Corps.
    At the beginning of the war, the Grand Master had taken up an attachment to the intelligence division of the Admiralty with the rank of Captain (later Rear-Admiral). In April 1940 he transferred to the Royal Air Force, renouncing his honorary rank of Air Vice-Marshal on the grounds that it would make him senior to many men of greater experience. He was appointed Group Captain in the Training Command and was given responsibility for supervising welfare work at the larger air force stations, a job that involved considerable travel within the country and overseas.
    On 25 August 1942, shortly after being promoted Air Commodore, he set out to inspect the RAF establishments in Iceland. His plane crashed at the Eagle’s Rock, near Dunbeath in Caithness, and all on board were killed. The Acting Grand Master, the Earl of Harewood, at the September meeting of Grand Lodge, reported this tragic news.
    By the outbreak of war, Britain had already become a safe haven for Jewish and other refugees from Europe, especially Germany. As the war progressed, troops from other countries – Poland, Czechoslovakia and France – based themselves in Britain.
    They were joined by soldiers from Commonwealth countries, and American troops also arrived following the entry of the US into the war. Grand Lodge faced a number of challenges in dealing with this situation. The first that needed to be tackled by late 1939 was the position of brethren of enemy nationality or birth who were members of English Lodges. In the 1914–1918 War, it had been decided that brethren of enemy birth should not attend any Masonic meeting while the war continued. This policy seems to have been readily accepted by both Lodges and the brethren affected.



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