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.
© 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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?