He also took further and more important action to support the Lodge's application. Firstly, he joined the petitioners for the new Lodge, now to be named Ponders End Lodge (aware, no doubt, that a change of name for the intended Lodge would have a far better chance of success).
This final petition was submitted on 10 December
1917. Winston Churchill's name appears among the petitioners and his profession is entered as Cabinet
Minister. An explanatory typewritten letter accompanying the new petition, dated 10 December 1917, is signed by Winston Churchill himself.
The text begins:
We, the undersigned, being regularly registered Master Masons of the Lodge mentioned against our respective names... are desirous of forming a new Lodge.
The name 'Brindley Lodge' has been erased and the name Ponders End Lodge has been inserted instead in
This is still not the end of Churchill's efforts to promote the application of this particular lodge. After the petition was submitted, his handwritten note, personally addressed to the Grand Secretary, Colville Smith, states:
My dear Sir,
As I am much interested in the application which has been made by the workers at Ponders End Shell Factory for permission to call their Lodge the 'Ponders End Lodge of Freemasons', I should be really obliged if you could let me know whether it has been granted,
Yours very faithfully
The reply will have followed soon after receipt of Churchill's letter. It is dated 23 February 1918:
My dear Sir,
The application for the proposed Ponders End Lodge has recently been carefully considered by the advisers of the Grand Master, who with
great regret came to the decision that they were unable to recommend the granting of the petition.
J Colville Smith G. Sec.
Winston's considerable efforts, beyond the call of his immediate interests, can only be attributed to his eagerness to fulfil his wife's innocent
request. How much more could he have done than write to the Grand Master, join the petitioners, sign the covering letter and chase the Grand
Secretary for results!
His efforts came to nothing. The petition had been refused on 8 February
1918. Was Churchill peeved? Maybe frustrated and disconcerted by this refusal to his repeated, almost formal, personal requests? Did he, as a result, have a pique against Freemasonry? There is no evidence to indicate any such emotions on his part.
On 27 February 1918, at the request of the Master designate, E Allen, an amended proposition was reconsidered, and the Armament Lodge No. 3898 saw the light of day on 19 November 1918. Churchill, now Secretary of State
for War, was not one of
Churchill's only other recorded Masonic visit was to
the Royal Naval lodge No. 59 on 10 December 1928, as a guest of the Master, W H Bernau, his insurance broker. He signed the attendance book as a member of Studholme Lodge.
The next day Bro Bernau wrote to Churchill, in rather naive terms:
Dear Mr Churchill,
I wish to thank you again for so kindly coming to the dinner last night... I only hope you were not bored stiff
Masonry might have as powerful an effect as the League of Nations if it could be properly worked with a central meeting ground for representations of all the Grand Lodges in the World.
W H Bernau
An annotation to his private secretary on the letter in Winston's handwriting curtly states:
a line of thanks - say I enjoyed it.
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