ISSUE 9, April 2004

The Duke of Wellington: A Brother in arms
Quarterly Communication: Address of the Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Life with the Stars: Masons and famous people
Hall Stone Jewel: Cyril Spackman, designer
Travel: Jamaica
Grand Charity: Annual Report and Accounts
Masonic stamps: Masonry on stamps
Library & Museum of Freemasonry: Antients and Moderns go on-line
Masonic education: Events for Freemasons
Masonic charities: The continuing work
Bowel cancer: How the Grand Charity is helping
Royal Arch: Russia and Eastern Europe
Richard Eve: A former Grand Treasurer
Book reviews

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William Lendrim VC
Albert Edward Lodge No. 1714 does not have a photo of W. Bro. William James Lendrim wearing his VC, although I believe one existed when our centenary history was written 26 years ago, but the author died recently.
      We do, however, have a photograph of him wearing military uniform under his regalia. He was among the first 62 recipients of the award, and was invested by Queen Victoria in Hyde Park at the very first ceremony.
      The story of W. Bro. Lendrim, who won the VC at Sebastopol, as one of the very first to win the award, may be of interest to all.
Wonersh, Surrey
© Royal Engineers Library
WJ Lendrim in uniform (left) with VC, and in uniform and Masonic regalia without VC

‘Double VC’ initiation
Regarding your article ‘Masonic VC Winners’ (MQ, Issue No. 7), as secretary of The Navy Lodge No. 2612 and a keen student of the Lodge’s distinguished history, I was most pleased to receive a request for confirmation that Bro. F W Lumsden VC, CB, DSO and 3 Bars had been a member of the Lodge.
      My research revealed a strange coincidence. Our records confirm that on 17 May 1907, Captain Lumsden RMA was initiated in The Navy Lodge. His record is closed with the note: Killed in Action.
      Research showed that he was awarded the VC in France in 1917, and as a Brigadier General was killed in action in 1918.
      Surprisingly, the very next entry in our ledger shows a second Initiate on 17 May 1907: E G Robinson, Lieutenant RN. His rank is later amended to read ‘Rear Admiral, VC, OBE.’ He was awarded the VC for action in the Dardanelles in 1915.
      An incredible coincidence, that two later VCs should be initiated together. The Navy Lodge is equally proud of a third VC winner, Commander C C Dobson, VC, DSO, RN (later Rear Admiral), won for a daring attack in Kronstadt harbour in 1919. He was initiated in the Lodge in October 1925.
      Your article illustration of the Royal Party on 11 November 1920 is also a reminder of the Lodge’s interesting history. It shows the three Royal Brothers, who were all members of The Navy Lodge.
Secretary, Navy Lodge No. 2612

Ruspini and Masonry
I enjoyed the article about Bartholomew Ruspini (MQ, Issue No. 7), as he was not only a Freemason and founder of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls, but was a major influence in early British dentistry.
      An early article on him stated:
      In connexion with his Bath associations, an interesting item has emerged from the original minutes of Bear Lodge (now the Royal Cumberland Lodge No. 41). Here is an excerpt from 20th November 1759:
      ‘Mr Bartholomew Ruspini was balloted for in a full Lodge and three Balls being found in the Negative Draw (sic), therefore he is handsomely prorogued for Three Months.’
      In other words he was rejected as a candidate for initiation. It is nevertheless clear that this was not attributable to dubiety as to his integrity … On the 7th April 1762, Ruspini was initiated into Bush Lodge No. 116, Bristol. Evidence is available that he was not then permanently in this city.’
Portishead, North Somerset

Wexas delight
Having been a Gold Card member of Wexas International for a number of years I was pleased to see the promotion (MQ, Issue No. 7), as I know they offer an excellent service.
      Tongue in cheek, I telephoned them to see if this promotion applied to existing members, and was delighted to be told that my next renewal would be at the special rate, saving me Ł69.
      Keep up the good work.
Willsbridge, Gloucestershire

Warsaw memories
The book review in MQ No. 8, Rising ’44: The Battle for Warsaw, by Norman Davies, brought back a distant memory.
      I was in Warsaw in May 1947, one of a group of some 50 boys and girls. I was leaving to start a new life in England, and I cannot describe the devastation.
      I had my last few zloty to spend and decided on a haircut. Someone directed me to a bombed-out building. The roof and floors were gone, but in a corner of what was left, a barber had a small table and a chair. There was a small queue of people sitting on chunks of masonry. I took my turn and handed over the rest of my money.
      It is my understanding that the Russians deliberately withheld support from Polish fighters during the Warsaw uprising on orders from Stalin.
Porlock, Somerset

Gravesend lifeboat
Regarding the article on Masonic lifeboats (MQ, Issue No. 7), there was at least one boat missing from the list published, an EClass lifeboat based at Gravesend in Kent.
      It is the first lifeboat to be improved and modified especially for use on the Thames, and at a ceremony in the Fort Gardens, Gravesend, last April, it was named the Olive Laura Deare.
      It was funded by a bequest from the late Mrs Olive Laura Deare, the widow of Denison Deare, a Past Master of Macartney Lodge No. 3283, that meets at Gravesend.
Gravesend, Kent

Somerset pride
I read the lifeboats article Life in their Hands with interest (MQ, No. 7). The link between the lifeboats and Freemasonry is very much alive in Weston-Super-Mare.
      The lifeboat operations manager and his deputy, together with the chairman, vice chairman, secretary and a member of the finance committee, are all members of local Lodges.
      All the Weston Lodges are proud to support the local boat, which has been an important part of the town’s heritage for over ... years.
Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset

Is this a record?
My great-grandfather, W Bro Edmund Heywood PPGD, the second Master (1876) of Albert Edward Lodge No. 1519, Clayton- le-Moors, Province of East Lancashire, installed all eight Masters who succeeded him from 1877 to 1884, the year of his death.
      I think this may be a record. I wonder if any of your readers know of any Past Master who can match or surpass this achievement?
Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire