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Act of remembrance places Shrewsbury masons squarely in heart of community

Monday, 04 August 2014

A moving, candlelit ceremony outside Shrewsbury's Crewe Street Masonic headquarters commemorated the entry of Great Britain into the First World War exactly one hundred years before

At that time the present Freemasons' Hall was St Michael's Church in Ditherington, Shrewsbury, and the names of many local lads who gave their lives are listed on a monument within the grounds. The service, held on August 4th, was attended by over three hundred people, and many of these stayed on to a reception afterwards inside the Masonic Hall.

The simple service was conducted by W Bro the Rev Philip Niblock in the presence of Mayor Beverley Baker and the RW Provincial Grand Master, Peter Allan Taylor, his Deputy VW Bro Roger Pemberton and the Deputy Grand Supt. John Williamson.

Also present were representatives from the Royal British Legion, a cadet band, the Halfway House Ladies Choir who led the singing, many masons and non-masons alike from around Shropshire, but most especially a number of family members to whom the names on the memorial have a very special meaning.

The war memorial itself had been in a state of disrepair before a group of Freemasons from the town's lodges decided that something needed to be done. A committee was formed under the Chairmanship of W Bro David Griffiths of Salopian Lodge of Charity No. 117 (David's face is already familiar to followers of Shropshire's twitter account @ShropshireMason).

Funds were raised with the support of Freemasonry and of the local firm of Morris and Co. (just a few hundred yards away from the Hall), and the memorial was cleaned and restored to its former glory with the assistance of an operative mason! Now it is the focus for Acts of Remembrance each year, as well as a comfort to those in the local community who still remember family members lost in the Great War.