Military and Freemasonry
by Gordon Sylvester
Depending on what you wish to read Freemasonry has been in existence for several hundreds of years. The military has been attracted to the organization since the early 1700’s. Forming lodges with travelling charters. Quite a few of these were in the US and later in India and possibly in New Zealand. All of them originated from Irish or Scottish Lodges.
During the both World Wars freemasons and freemasonry was practiced in the field on both sides and no doubt in the internment camps by prisoners and possibly their guards. There is an occasional demonstration of a Masonic Working in a German POW Camp as part of ANZAC Day Remembrances.
New Zealand created two groups of Freemasons. One based in England and France the other in Sinai and Palestine. The England France group had no connection with the other. But apparently did exchange fraternal greetings with each other. Any Freemason travelling to England for convalescence or for leave would probably made contact with a Lodge in England to keep up his contacts. Both groups used the term New Zealand Expeditionary Force Masonic Association. The Egyptian group used the additional of “in Sinai and Palestine”. The Sinai and Palestine did not have a travelling charter and met informally but used the traditions usually found in the Lodge structure.
The NZMR conducted meetings of Freemasons in sand dunes YMCA tents and Mess Huts where ever available. A look at the list below shows that there were several men belonging to the same lodge. This will have been the first line of the contacts. The next line was the use of recognition signs and words. And the introduction of other freemasons through mutual acquaintances and fellow soldiers.
Any one travelling overseas would not have carried any of their Lodge regalia. But they may have carried their ritual books to keep up their skills for their return to their home lodge.
Recognition “signals” would have been given and received resulting in small groups congregating together. This obviously led to a discussion that eventually led to the formation of the NZEF Masonic Association in Sinai and Palestine.
Both groups created their own jewels and were worn in Lodge meetings . There is still a NZEF Masonic Association in existence. In all there are three “jewels” relating to both World Wars. The 1st World war has two jewels. The second has only one jewel.
While I am not going to go into the history of these groups. It is covered in more detail in an appropriate forum. The men however involved make an interesting aspect of the conflict.
The Shrine of the Dome of the Rock is the only known photograph taken of the one and only meeting ever held in the Moslem Shrine in Jerusalem. This in itself is an interesting paradox about how this happened. The city of Jerusalem had recently been liberated from the Turks and was under a military governor. Access into the city was by permission of the governor and the man in charge of the Shrine of the Rock. One man achieved both of these objectives as well as obtaining all of the Ford Cars allocated to the Army to get the group of men into town to hold the meeting. Brigadier General William Meldrum.
The men who had Masonic connexions joined for a variety of reasons both here and overseas. There is some suspicion that a few men joined so as to give their families some assistance should they perish in battle. This can be deduced by the Masonic Rank they held when they embarked and to some extent the location of lodges close to the military camps here in New Zealand. Especially the camps in the Wairarapa.
The best way to deal with this is an alphabetical list with basic information about the man. More details can be obtained from other sources.
I will include their Names as recorded in the two known lists, Rank and Unit Masonic Lodge and rank at the time of the war.
Adams; Ernest Cleathing, s/n 60277 Tpr. AMR Lodge Sir Walter Scott No. 13 NZC; M.M.
Agnew; James, s/n11/199 Tpr. WMR Heretaunga No. 72 NZC; M.M.
Anderson; Bruce, s/n 34501 Tpr. MGS Lodge Havelock No. 104 NZC; M.M. Dome Mtg.
Baird; Kenneth William, s/n 7/160 Tpr. MGS. Hiram No. 46 NZC M.M.
Bale; Richard Francis, s/n 41288 Capt. NZTR Waiwhetu No. 176 M.M.
Beck; Horace William, s/n63543 Sgt. WMR Lodge Hinemoa (Kairanga) No.122 M.M.
Berry; Percy George, s/n34981 Farrier Sgt. CMR Waitaki No.11 EC M.M. Dome Mtg
Bird; Reuben James, s/n 11/1394 Lieut. NZ Regt. Star of the East 1355 EC (Cairo) F.C.
Bradley; Richard William Russon, s/n17617 Tpr. CMR Lodge Wallace No. 129 NZC M.M.
Britten; Francis Allen, s/n 43759 Tpr. AMR Whakatane No. 198 NZC M.M.
Browne; Samuel George, s/n13/169 Lieut. NZE Lodge Franklin No. 2138 EC M.M.
Bull; Sydney Arthur, s/n 57738 Tpr. WMR Lodge Navua 3739 EC M.M.
Bush-King; Charles John, s/n 2/626 Chap. Maj. CMR ???????NO OTHER INFORMATION
Butters; John Alexander, s/n 13310 Tpr. WMR Lodge St. Kilda No. 881 S.C. (Portrae) M. M.
Cameron; Clarence Frederick, s/n 57809 Tpr. AMR Lodge St. Andrew No. 8 S.C. M. M.
Cameron; William Oates, s/n43719 Tpr. Lodge Glasgow No. 128 S.C. M.M.
Clark; William Rogerson, s/n11/1304 Tpr. Sig. WMR Lodge Caledonian Railway No. 354 S.C. M.M.
Cleugh; Hugh McLeod, s/n 58739 Tpr. AMR Lodge Mt Ida Mo. 97 NZC M.M.
Cowan; Francis Henry, s/n 3/2837 Tpr. MFA Lodge Ede n No. 1530 E.C. (Auckland) M.M.
Collins; Herbert Alison, s/n 13/311 Lieut. AMR Waipa Lodge No. 119 NZC M.M.
Currie; John, s/n 11/988 Tpr. WMR Lodge Rongatea No. 146 NZC M.M.
Davidson; Norman Sutherland, s/n 18206 Tpr. AMR Lodge Ohimemuri No. 107 NZC M.M.
Dawson; Charles McBeath s/n 3/2989 Captn. MFA Lodge St Martins No. 53 (Carterton) M. M.
Davis; Percy Clifford, s/n7/1348 Tpr. CMR Lodge Christchurch No. 91 NZC M.M.
Devine; John, s/n 3/1009 Tpr. MFA Lodge Taupiri No. 118 M.M. Dome Mtg
Duffey; Albert s/n 13/2280 Cpl. AMR Lodge Mokoreta No. 19 NZC E.A.
Eade; James John s/n 3/4314 Captn. NZMC Lodge Opotiki No. 1930 EC. S.D.
Esther; C B, s/n ??????? Lieut. NZMR Bgde Lodge Horowhenua No. 135 M.M.
Evans; Allan, S/N 17571 Lieut. WMR South Rakaia No. 31 NZC M.M.
Evans; Henry Theodore Penrhys, s/n 13/681 Lieut. AMR Lodge Franklin No. 58 NZC M.M.
Fraser; John, s/n7/1468 Cpl. CMR Lodge Hinemoa No. 122 M.M.
Franks; John Frederick, s/n34562 Tpr. CMR Robert Burns No. 139 NZC M.M.
Gibbons; Gordon Bennett, s/n 11/767 Sgnt Mjr. WMR Lodge Naumai No.177 NZC M.M.
Haeata; Walter, s/n 13/75 Lieut. AMR Lodge Warner No. 2256 EC M.M.
Hatton; John Thompson, s/n 11/1000 Sgt. AMR Lodge Te Kuiti No. 163 M.M.
Herrald; John Henry, s/n 13/161 Mjr. AMR Lodge Waiuku No. 90 NZC M.M.
Holmes; Walter Pollock, s/n 13/3035 Tpr. AMR Lodge No. 175 SC M.M.
Hollis; William Joseph, s/n 13/760 Lieut. WMR Lodgr Tongariro No. 765 EC? M.M.
Hunter; Douglas Gordon Graeme, s/n 66231 Capt. BHQ Lodge Dunedin No. 931 EC M.M.
Harper; Philip Thomas, s/n 3/4348 Capt. NZMC Lodge Navua No. 3739 (Fiji) M.M.
Hemphill; HarrieT Campbell, s/n 13/2397 Lieut. NZMR ????????????? NO OTHER INFORMATION
Howell; Charles Ethelbert, s/n 50701 Tpr. CMR Lodge Lincoln No33 NZC M.M.
Hulbert; Edward James, s/n 4/591 Lieut. WMR Lodge Lotus No. 3296 EC M.M.
Ingram; Henry Stewart, s/n7/351 Sgnt Mjr. CMR Pollockshaw Royal Arch Lodge No153 SC E.A.
Johnson; Alexander Adair, s/n 37126 Capt. NZVC Lodge Canterbury No. 1048 EC M.M.
Johns; William Henwood, s/n 13/368 Lieut. AMR Lodge St. Johns No. 37 NZC M.M. (Featherston)
Judge; Harold, s/n 7/1694 Tpr. CMR Lodge Wallace No. 129 NZC M.M. Dome Mtg
Johnston; James Trevor, s/n 3/3898 Tpr. MFA Lodge Ponsonby No. 54 NZC M.M.
Jefferies; W J, s/n ?????? Tpr. AMR Lodge Taupiri No. 118 NZC M.M.
Johnston; William, s/n 35419 Tpr. CMR Lodge St. Johns No. 65 S.C. (Stonehaven) M.M.
Kelly; Stanley Archibald, s/n 12554 Lieut. MGS Lodge Masterton No. 19 NZC M.M.
Kidd; David Campbell, s/n 10730 Tpr. CMR Lodge St Martins No.162 M.M.
Keeley; Frederick, s/n 13/611 Sgt. AMR Lodge Alpha No. 81 NZC M.M.
Lovelock; George Robert, s/n16313 Tpr. MSS Lodge Otangaki No. 70 NZC P. M. Dome Mtg
Lockhead; Norman Low, s/n 16102 Tpr. WMR Lodge Cheviot No124 NZC M.M.
Lundon; David Paul, s/n 11/647 Tpr. WMR Lodge Hinemoa No. 786 M.M. aka David Hobson
McCarroll; James Neil, s/n 13/148 Lt. Col. AMR Lodge Star of the North No. 1647 EC M.M. Dome Mtg
McCarroll; Thomas; s/n 13/298 Lieut. MGS Lodge Franklin No. 2138 EC P.M. Dome Mtg
McCormack; Roy David, s/n 13/1075 Cpl. MGS Lodge of Light No. 454 EC M.M
McDougall; Archibald, s/n 3/853 Cpl. MFA Lodge Christon No.147 SC M.M.
McEwin; George William Irvine, s/n 13/2605 Tpr. AMR Duke of Albany 2073 EC M.M.
McKay; Roderick Murdoch, s/n 13/2057 Tpr. AMR Lodge Waipu No.179 NZC M.M.
McLennan John, s/n 11/192A Farrier Sgt. WMR Lodge Naumai No. 177 NZC M.M.
McRae; John, s/n 30483 Tpr. MGS Lodge Heretaunga No. 73 NZC M.M.
Mansford; George Reginald, s/n 30442 Tpr. WMR Lodge Wairau No. 42 EC? M.M. Dome Mtg
Matheson; Alexander Donald, s/n 7/1098 Tpr. MGS Lodge McKenzie No. 93 NZC M.M.
Meldrum; William, s/n 11/675 Lt. Col. WMR Lodge Rangatira No. 71 NZC P.M. Dome Mtg
Moffat; George Shepherd, s/n 11/1472 Tpr. MFA Lodge Trinity No. 885 SC M.M.
Mossman; Pynson Wilmott, s/n 50887 Tpr. WMR Lodge Montrose No. 722 SCM.M.
Munro; Duncan, s/n 13/757 Maj. AMR Lodge Moutoa No. 195 P.M.
Nicol; Percy Charles, s/n 49306 Saddler. CMR Lodge Otago No. 7 NZC M.M.
Oleson; Bryge Peter, s/n ??????? Tpr BHQ Train Lodge Manakau No.24 NZC M.M.
Orr; Arthur Charles, s/n 13/609 Tpr. BHQ Train Lodge Conyers No. 1916 EC M.M.
Paul; Joseph Lionel, s/n 11/678 Sgt. WMR Lodge Alexandra No. 1188 EC M.M.
Penwell; Frank Preston, s/n 7/1126 LCpl. CMR Lodge Amuri No. 184 NZC M.M.
Pepper; Leslie Stennett; s/n 7/258 Cpl. CMR ????????NO OTHER INFORMATION AVAILABLE
Polson; Donald, s/n 35981 Tpr. CMR Lodger Unanimity No. 187 NZC M.M.
Quilter; Philip George, s/n 55022 Tpr. AMR Lodge Waiuku United No. 90 NZC M.M. Dome Mtg
Reed; Mervyn Rankin, s/n 13/990 Capt. AMR Lodge Te Awamutu No. 2221 EC M.M.
Rorke; Henry Murray, s/n 16504 Lieut. AMR Lodge Beta No. 12 NZC M.M.
Robinson; David Squire, s/n 3/149 Sgt. MFA Lodge Pelham Pillar No. 792 EC M.M.
Scott; John Orlando, s/n 11/1274 Mjr. WMR Lodge Waikaremoana No. 158 M.M.
Scott; John, s/n 5/556 Lieut. CMR Lodge St Augustine No. 99 NZC M.M.
Scott; Samuel Edward, s/n 21945 Tpr. NZMP Lodge Auckland No. 87 NZC M.M.
Sparks; James John, s/n 57517 Tpr. CMR Lodge Concord No. 39 NZC M.M.
Stewart; Whalley, s/n 13/614 Lieut. AMR Lodge Defence No. 1221 EC (West Yorkshire) M.M.
Stone: Edward, s/n 35900 Tpr. CMR Lodge Ashburton No 1811 EC M.M.
Tate: Clifford Hudson, s/n 11/1982 L Cpl. WMR Lodge Sir Donald McLean No. 1646 EC M.M. Dome Mtg
Teggins; Samuel,s/n 13/961 Tpr. AMR Lodge Auckland No. 87 NZC M.M.
Thompson; John William Harrison, s/n 31795 Lcpl. MGS Lodge Karioi No. 165 NZC M.M.
Tomkins; Walter Eric, s/n 24941 Tpr. AMR Lodge Orepuki No. 137 NZC M.M.
Tennant; William, s/n 13/2931 Tpr. AMR Lodge Kirkcaldie No. 72 SC M.M.
Trickett; Bertram, s/n 50435 Tpr. AMR Lodge Auckland No. 87 NZC M.M.
Urquhart; Thomas Donaldson, s/n 58189 Tpr. AMR Lodge Owaka No 180 NZC M.M.
Veitch; John Ogilive, s/n 3/2592 Capt. MFA Lodge Worchester No. 280 EC M.M.
Wade; Lionel, s/n 13/246 Lieut. AMR Lodge Maungawhau No.168 NZC P.M.
Walton; Robert Henry, s/n 3/299 Capt. MFA Lodge Maungawhau No. 368 NZC M.M.
Ward; Benjamin, s/n 24945 Tpr. AMR Lodge Fortitude No. 66 NZC M.M.
Watson; Edward George, s/n 31100 Tpr. AMR Lodge Bedford No. 25 NZC M.M.
Walton; William James, s/n 54999 ????????NO OTHER INFORMATION AVAILABLE
White; John Harold, s/n 12307 Lcpl. WMR Lodge Fortitude No. 66 NZC M.M.
Wilkie; Alexander Herbert, s/n 11/677 Mjr. WMR Lodge Waimarino No. ??? NZC M.M. Dome Mtg
Williams; Andrew George, s/n 21/31 Capt. NZ Corps Lodge Lenister No. 44 NZC M.M.
Williamson; Arthur, s/n 31104 Farrier. CMR Lodge Cheviot No. 124 NZC M.M.
Williams; Reginald Eric, s/n 16989 Tpr. CMR Manuherikia Kilwinning No. 109 SC M.M.
Wilson; James Duncan McLellan, s/n 14180 Capt.AMR Oamaru Kilwinning No. 82 NZC M.M. Dome Mtg
Young; Frederick James, s/n 18148 Tpr. MFA Lodge Ikaroa No. 115 NZC M.M.
Wright; Frank Harvey, s/n 13/2268 Sgt. AMR Lodge Karioi No. 165 NZC M.M.
Dome of the Rock
1st War NZEFMA
2nd World War NZEFMA
N.Z.E.F.M.A. = New Zealand Expeditionary Force Masonic Association.
CMR = Canterbury Mounted Rifles
AMR = Auckland Mounted Rifles
WMR = Wellington Mounted Rifles
MFA = Mobile Field Ambulance
MGS = Machine Gun Section
NZC = New Zealand Constitution
SC = Scottish Constitution
EC = English Constitution
E.A. = Entered Apprentice
F.C. = Fellow Craft
M.M. = Master Mason
P.M. = Past Master