Faces to names
The extensive photographic collection at the Library and Museum adds another perspective on the history of the Craft and its members
Whether in the form of paintings, engravings, prints or photographs, the Library and Museum has a wealth of images of people. Over recent years, these have been catalogued online, with captivating biographies of many individuals, including details of their masonic careers.
The online catalogue now has details for over 2,700 images – including those in albums of photographs. Enquirers can request digital copies of images they are interested in and many are available for inclusion in lodge or chapter histories and presentations. The three images here all relate to the period of World War I.
Sir Francis Lloyd, shown above, in his army uniform, was a career soldier. In World War I he commanded the Territorial Forces in the London District. He was also active in Freemasonry, serving as the Master of the City of London National Guard Lodge, No. 3757, in 1916.
Ladislas Aurele de Malczovich was a Hungarian civil servant who became a member of the English research lodge, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, and published articles in its Transactions.
As one of many ‘alien enemy brethren’, he was excluded from membership of his English lodges during World War I. The back of his photograph is inscribed to his friend, Frederick Crowe – a noted masonic collector.
In June 1919, an Especial Grand Lodge was held at the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate the end of the war. Among the audience of over 8,000 were many overseas representatives. The formal meeting was one of many hosted by London lodges, including a visit to the Houses of Parliament where the photograph, top right, was taken.
Menin Gate remembrance
Oxfordshire’s Bill Butcher and Peter Smith of Jersey Lodge, No. 2334, visited Ypres during a World War I commemorative tour and laid a wreath at the Menin Gate on behalf of the lodge.
Both are former police officers and they travelled to Belgium with the Thames Valley Police Social Club.
While there, they looked for memorials and graves of former police officers who had joined up, placing poppy crosses on them.
Along with much of the country, the lights went out and Freemasons' Hall was plunged into darkness at 10pm last night to commemorate the moment that Great Britain declared war on Germany one hundred years ago
A single candle illuminated the Memorial Shrine, which commemorates the 3,225 brethren, who died on active service in the First World War and in whose memory the building was raised.
Behind the shrine is the stained glass memorial window whose theme is the attainment of Peace through Sacrifice, with the Angel of Peace carrying a model of the tower of the building.
The bronze memorial casket, which was designed by Walter Gilbert, contains the memorial roll, at the corners of which are gilt figures representing the fighting services.
Images courtesy of Colin Clay Photography
Letters to the editor - No. 26 Summer 2014
Men of honour
My grandfather was initiated on 9 November 1908 into Royal Rose Lodge, No. 2565, a military lodge formed by officers from the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment).
He appears on the masonic roll of honour.
Charles Arthur Murray was a volunteer soldier who fought in the Boer War for the Royal Fusiliers and subsequently in the Great War, where he was killed in 1915. Apart from his campaign medals, he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal just before he was killed by shrapnel. This was awarded as a result of his actions in preventing the slaughter of German troops who had surrendered when his battalion engulfed a German trench.
As a result of an email discussion with my cousin (sharing the same grandfather), we visited his grave last June. As part of the tour we had a personal trip to his marked grave in Windy Corner, Cuinchy, the Guards Cemetery in Northern France and we laid a wreath. We think we were the first family members to do so. It was very moving, as you can imagine.
This trip to France stimulated me to make further enquiries and I contacted the very helpful Secretary of Royal Rose Lodge, Colin Woodcock. His records also produced my grandfather’s brother, Henry Murray, who I discovered had been initiated and passed on the same dates as his brother, and who became Master in 1922. Colin Woodcock invited me to attend Royal Rose, which I did on 13 November in the company of eight members of my lodge, Sunbury Lodge, No. 1733.
What a special occasion that was – to make the link going back over ninety years.
A wonderful welcome was given to all of us by Royal Rose, which subsequently granted me the great privilege of honorary membership. My request to give the visitor’s speech was granted, as I wanted the opportunity to record how Freemasonry benefited me.
As a result of my grandfather being a Freemason, his three sons were enrolled in the masonic school and received a good education. This enabled them to become professionals in their employment and, in turn, give their own sons a good start in life.
I would not be in a good position today if it were not for that.
We at Sunbury hope to welcome brethren of Royal Rose to our April meeting, where they will be gladly received.
John Murray, Sunbury Lodge, No. 1733, Staines, Middlesex
Charles Arthur Murray, 1915
Ann Pilcher Dayton profiles two strong-willed women who challenged the social mores of the day in order to help others during World War I and honour the principles of Freemasonry
At the outbreak of World War I, the upper-class women of Britain were experts in supervising households and managing their husbands’ estates – invaluable in the provision of welfare to the troops. Several of these women were also Freemasons.
The Honourable Evelina Haverfield, daughter of the Third Baron Abinger, came from a family dedicated to public and military service. An energetic person, she had tremendous physical stamina, and was a keen and capable horsewoman. She was a member of Lodge Golden Rule, No. 21, of the Co-Masons (Le Droit Humain), founded in 1905 by Annie Besant. And its name reflects its aspirations: ‘do unto others as you would be done by’.
Haverfield already possessed the liberated lifestyle to which many women aspired in their struggle for the vote – she kept by deed poll the surname of her late husband on her remarriage. She was also a prominent suffragette and took part in many demonstrations, was arrested and subsequently imprisoned. She even used her equine experience to make police horses break ranks to cause the maximum disruption during protests. When war broke out, Haverfield was 47.
Together with Decima Moore, formerly a singer and actress with the D’Oyly Carte Company, as well as members of the Actresses’ Franchise League, she formed the Women’s Emergency Corps – the first of the women’s uniformed organisations. Their response to the crisis was to organise a role for women. Many upper- and middle-class women joined the Corps. These members became involved in several ventures, including a uniformed group called the Lady Instructors Signals Company, who trained Aldershot army recruits in signalling. They were the first to feed the Belgian refugees in England, collecting London’s surplus food from Smithfield and Covent Garden. Interpreters were also provided with lists of hotels, lodgings and free rooms, met the continental trains in London, and taught elementary French and German to training soldiers.
Haverfield’s next venture was forming the Women’s Volunteer Reserve (WVR) in August 1914. She became Honorary Colonel of the WVR, with battalions, officers and non-commissioned officers and other ranks. Members wore khaki uniforms, aligning the group with men in defending British values and as a model for women’s services. The aim was to train a body of fit and disciplined women who could undertake a range of tasks, including signalling, first aid, crowd control, driving and delivering messages. One particular responsibility was to ensure the removal to safety of the elderly and unfit in the event of a sudden attack.
In 1915, Haverfield joined the Scottish Women’s Hospitals Unit as an administrator. Two fully equipped field hospitals staffed entirely by women and led by Edinburgh surgeon Dr Elsie Inglis were sent out to Serbia to support the soldiers. Haverfield spent two years in Serbia and Romania as commander of the Motor Transport Section, which consisted of eighteen American Ford ambulances, British-built lorries and kitchen cars, all serviced and driven by women. Vehicles had to be hand-cranked to start them and in these war-torn rural areas of Eastern Europe all spares had to be carried on route. Finding petrol and digging the vehicles out of the mud while under shellfire was nightmarish as they shuttled the wounded to field hospitals.
In 1917, Haverfield was back in England where she set up relief organisations – the Serbian Soldiers Comforts Fund and the Fund for Disabled Serbian Soldiers. Following the Armistice in 1918, she returned to Serbia to supervise the distribution of food, clothing and medical supplies for the Red Cross. While the rural economy of Serbia would in time recover, many of the children were orphaned by the war, and so in 1919, she and a group of former colleagues returned to set up an orphanage on the Bosnian/Serbian border. She died there from pneumonia in 1920 aged fifty-two and was hailed by the Serbs as a national heroine.
FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH
Haverfield’s passion for helping others was also evident in Major General Dame Florence Burleigh Leach. Initiated into the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Masonry in 1910, she was described by one of her wartime contemporaries as ‘beautiful, elegant and charming’. She was also renowned for her organisational ability and her independence of spirit.
Being an army wife, Leach saw it as her duty to assist in the war effort as the dangers of an inadequately fed army were recognised. In April 1915, Leach was one of the founders of the Women’s Legion, whose objectives were to release men for active service, improve cooking and prevent waste.
In February 1917, Leach was appointed Controller of Cooks, and later brought all 7,000 Women’s Legion cooks and waitresses into the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). The role of women in the army expanded at home and on active service in France, replacing men in many traditionally male roles including clerks, tailors, librarians, storemen, photographers, drivers, grooms and policewomen.
In February 1918, Leach became Chief Controller of the WAAC, and five months later was promoted to Controller-in-Chief, becoming the senior officer of 57,000 women serving at home and overseas. Although members wore uniforms, the Corps was organised on civilian lines – no one was given military titles or held commissions. Honoured by Queen Mary, the name changed to Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps, and Leach became President.
Leach was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1919, and put forward her best officers for initiation into the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons so it ‘might offer a valuable link to cement comradeship’. Blanche Ireland, MBE, was Grand Treasurer, Dorothy Taylor was Deputy Grand Master for twenty years, and Florence Leveridge served as Grand Secretary for fifteen years.
Haverfield and Leach were exceptional women but it can be no coincidence that, at various times in their lives, they espoused the tenets of Freemasonry. Love, relief and truth had no greater expression than through the work of these ‘strong-willed women’.