In your January 2005 issue you mentioned that Lord Kitchener had been a senior founder member of Kitchener Lodge No 2998. My father, who served in the Indian Army with the Sikh Regiment, was a member of Kitchener Lodge from 1937 to 1947.
He left me with some memorabilia, which enabled me to make contact with the Lodge. I had the fortune to be invited to two Sikh regimental reunions in 2000 and 2004 and was able to visit Kitchener Lodge in New Delhi on both occasions.
I was very well received by the Lodge and made to feel very much at home. Unfortunately, my visit in September 2004 was a month before their Centenary celebrations, which were attended by the present Lord Kitchener.
John Purves, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire
Keeping in touch
We were a little disappointed not to have been mentioned in the article in MQ (Issue No. 12) on Lord Kitchener and English Lodges in Egypt.
I have a history of Lord Kitchener Lodge No. 3402, covering its formation in Egypt in 1909, when both Lord Kitchener and Field Marshal Wingate became Honorary Members.
We remain in touch with Earl Lord Kitchener of Khartoum and Broom, through the 3rd Earl, who is an Honorary Member of the Lodge and who gave it the Commemorative Founder's Jewel of Lord Kitchener, which we proudly treasure.
The 3rd Earl came to our 90th celebrations and whom we hope will also be coming over to our centenary in four years time. The last time, we gave him a tour of the island, including a fascinating visit to the Lord Kitchener Taverna, which is on the way to the Troodos Mountains.
This was first opened by Kitchener's batman, who retired after serving him in the 1880s, and which is run by his great grandson today.
It is full of Kitchener memorabilia given to his batman, so it is fitting that the Lodge should 'relocate' to Cyprus, following the time spent there by the then Lt Kitchener, and the first complete survey and mapping of the island, which he performed.
I am in touch with Bulwer Lodge of Cairo No. 1068, in Buckinghamshire, as they lost all their records in Egypt after the Suez Canal war.
However, all our records are thankfully intact, which mention many members of Bulwer Lodge and Grecia and United Services Lodge of Egypt, who were Founding/Joining Members of/into Lord Kitchener Lodge.
Peter van de Pol, Secretary, Lord Kitchener Lodge No. 7502, Dhekelia Garrison, BFPO 58
'Voted' a VC
I read with interest the articles and letters on the subject of The Craft and the VC, and would draw your attention to Corporal John Elisha Grimshaw VC.
He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, but was 'voted' the VC by his comrades - possibly the only person to be honoured in that way - following action at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 (London Gazette, 15 March 1917 for upgraded award).
He was initiated in my Lodge - Llangattock Lodge No. 2547, South Wales Eastern District, on 24 September 1928 and resigned in 1934.
Following active service, he became a recruiting officer in Cardiff, and resigned on moving back to his home area of Lancashire.
I understand that he eventually retired to live with his daughter, possibly in Kent, and died in his eighties.
Celfyn H. Lewis, Cardiff
With reference to your article in MQ (Issue No. 12) on a jewel from the Cologne Lodge of Instruction being sent to the Library & Museum of Freemasonry, their bible was presented in 1930 to the Per Mare Per Terram No.3609 Lodge of Instruction.
It has been in constant use for 75 years at our meetings in Chatham. It is a very fine tome which we had re-covered two years ago as the original cover was showing the ravages of time.
No-one is quite sure why we were presented with it, apart from the fact that we were both military Lodges and have had a long association with the Emulation Lodge of Improvement.
Jerry Tivers, Chatham
Admiral Robinson VC
I have followed with interest correspondence regarding Admiral Robinson VC's grave in Langrish churchyard in Hampshire (MQ, Issue No. 12).
He was awarded the VC on 26 February 1915 when landing marines at Kum Kale in the Dardanelles and the subsequent destruction of guns adjacent to Achilles' tomb.
On retirement he was a church warden of St John's, a member of Petersfield Urban District Council and the chairman of the local parish council.
He died at Langrish on 25 August 1963, aged 83, and was buried four days later in an unmarked grave. An altar frontal in his memory was given by the Admiral's sister, Mary Robinson, at Easter 1969.
The church was later approached by the Royal Navy VC Association, and after measurements were taken from adjacent marked graves, the exact position was established from church records.
A standard War Grave headstone was erected, and a service of dedication was held on 28 August 1998, conducted by the vicar, Canon Terry Louden.
It was attended by some 150 people, including a large contingent from Peterborough British Legion. Banners were lowered at the graveside, the Last Post sounded by a navy bugler, followed by Reveille - a most moving ceremony.
Charles Sprinks, Church Warden, St John's, Langrish
Regarding the letter about VCs awarded to the RAF in World War II (MQ, Issue No. 12), the writer has mixed up the names, as John Jackson was the airman who went out on to the wing to extinguish the engine fire.
Sergeant John Hannah was awarded the VC before Christmas 1940 when a Hampden bomber of 83 Squadron had its fuel tanks holed and a fire engulfed the aircraft while returning to base.
Hannah, despite serious burns, managed to extinguish the inferno and assisted the pilot to land the crippled bomber (bibliography: The Lost Command, by Alistair Revie, 1971).
W L Preston, Ulverston, Cumbria
Lt. Chard VC
Following the review of Saul David's book Zulu (MQ, Issue No. 12) the following extract from the history of St George's Lodge No. 112, Exeter, may be of interest:
"A National Hero
When, on 3 May 1877, a 30-year-old army officer was initiated into the Lodge, no-one dreamed that two years later he would be acclaimed a national hero and be awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery in battle.
The young Mason was John Rouse Marriott Chard who, from the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, was commissioned in the Royal Engineers in 1868. He served in the Zulu War and distinguished himself when, on 22-23 January 1879, he defended Rorke's Drift with a force of 120 men against some 3,000 Zulus.
When the news reached England, the Lodge prepared an illuminated address of congratulations signed by all the members."
This was presented to him at a Lodge of Emergency on 14 November 1879.
Henry Holladay, Exeter
Freemasons are very supportive of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and if any Masons buys a copy of my wife's book, written for charity, all about Selsey's seafarers (www.voicesfromthesea.net) then all the money raised from those sales to Freemasons will be donated to the RNLI (Selsey branch). My wife can also be contacted on 01243.601272.
The contents include stories from Selsey lifeboat crew members, coastguards, fishermen, divers and other Selsey people, the oldest dating back to 678 and others going back to the late 1800s/early 1900s up to modern times.
The book is A4 size and has 222 black and white photos throughout, tying in with the stories, plus coloured photos on the front and back cover.
Sir Patrick Moore has written the Foreword, as he is a great supporter of the three seafaring charities to which my wife will be donating all the money.
My wife is not taking any money for herself, but has written this book purely because her family has been in Selsey for over 600 years.
Peter Cocks, Selsey
Puzzle over ritual tides
It was interesting to read the letter of A.W. Drage (MQ, Issue No. 12) as I am a Freeman of The Worshipful Company of Watermen and Lightermen (River Thames). It would be interesting to know in what year was the 'twice in twentyfour hours' part introduced into the ritual.
G.W. King, Kent
White table problems
In reading the article Planning a 'white table' (MQ, Issue 12), I was somewhat surprised to find no mention of rule 178 Book of Constitutions, wherein the wearing of Masonic clothing at meetings at which persons other than Masons are present, requires a prior dispensation from the Grand Master or the Metropolitan, Provincial or District Grand Master as appropriate.
In this connection, I would ask brethren to consider very deeply the implications of holding or taking part in such an occasion, as is described in the article, in any event.
Whilst there could certainly be a strong argument for display and explanation in this manner to the wives and partners of Masons, I submit that no such case can be made out in respect of non-mason males and their connections.
What purpose can such an event serve for them? If the non-mason were to be interested in coming amongst us then we have, at a stroke, denied him some of the surprise elements and awe which we all recall with some clarity - the visual impact, sense of occasion and other unique aspects.
If he is not interested, then his reasons for being there may well be questionable at the very least. From this, it necessarily follows that the wife or partner of a non-Mason likewise has no business to be present either.
As Bro Hollins quite rightly points out in his article, it is not a recruitment situation. Freemasonry has no need to proselytise at all.
Further, the very idea of reciting or reading the Charge to the Initiate in front of any non-Mason is, in my view, contrary to the obligations we have all taken, in spirit, if not in word - although I would uphold the latter view as well.
The argument that 'it is in the public domain and therefore such an act would be acceptable', does not hold water. If we were to take that view about that charge in particular, then we should have to apply the same view in general to the rest of the ritual, all of which is also in the public domain in most public libraries.
It is one thing to passively accept that such matters are available to the cowan, but it is surely quite another actively to recite or to take part in deliberate public recitations and demonstrations ourselves.
In this regard and with great humility I would particularly and respectfully draw every brother's attention to the Pro Grand Master's Address on 12th December 2001 in respect of demonstrations (Grand Lodge News 12 December 2001).
I hope brethren will dig deeply when considering the subject of 'white table' meetings and take due guard.
Hugh O'Neill, Compton, West Sussex
In MQ, Issue No. 12, you published a correction saying that Bernard Ross was not a founder of Clerkenwell, and it is true that he was not a founding director of the Central London Masonic Centre Ltd.
But it was he who signed the cheque purchasing the Old Sessions House on behalf of the company. I know this because I spent considerable time working with Bernard and Len Cacutt on the book, History of the Old Sessions House.
Dennis Brown, A Director, Central London Masonic Centre Ltd
Praise for Tommy's
On reading the January issue of MQ, I was delighted to see under "non-Masonic grants" the generous donation given to Tommy's, the baby charity that carries out research into miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth.
Our first grandchild was stillborn in April 2003, and from that traumatic even we became involved in the charity.
Information can be obtained on www.tommys.org and www.uk-sands.org - the Stillbirth and Neo-natal Death Society, which provides counselling and support to bereaved parents.
Peter Gardiner, South Woodford, London
I refer to the article in MQ, Issue No. 12, which refers to ritual on CD. I do not know of anyone who is selling ritual on CD ROM, but one of our Lodge brethren kindly undertook the arduous task of typing out our ritual in its entirety into Microsoft Word format on his PC, a huge task for a two-fingered typist.
It has turned out to be a terrific idea, as it is only necessary to print out the piece of ritual being studied at that time, which prevents the ritual book becoming dog-eared.
Ian Harm, Redcar, Cleveland
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