United in the grand design of being happy and communicating happiness

1914-1918: "Four Years of Supreme Sacrifice"

During the Great War, the Lodge met and dined regularly; attendances remained good. Nine brethren served with H.M. Forces and Bro. Frank H. Blackford was killed in action on 24th October 1918 while serving in Italy. He was born in 1880, the son of a policeman from Ditchling, Sussex. He worked as a Cashier for the National Telephone Company and had been initiated into the Lodge in 1908, being proposed and seconded by the Master and Secretary, becoming Lodge member No. 40. While he never took office in the Lodge, he was secretary of the Lodge of Instruction. During the Great War, he was a Private in the 2nd Battalion, the Honourable Artillery Company. He is buried at the Tezze British Cemetery.

tclothThe Lodge marked his passing with Masonic mourning. Sadly, on that evening the Lodge also stood in silence for 3 other Brethren: W. Bro. Frederic Harke, the Lodge’s first Master, W. Bro. Thomas Taylor PGD, another Founder and Bro. Walter Penson. The passing of our first Master was commemorated by the commissioning of an embroidered tablecloth for the Secretary & Treasurer’s table, on which his Past Masters Jewel was hung, together with two magnificent silver candlesticks. The wax from these candlesticks had over the years damaged the tablecloth so that it ceased to be used, but in 2005, the tablecloth was restored by the Embroidery Department at Grand Lodge and is once again in regular use. It has become the custom that the silver candlesticks are displayed at the Festive Board on each Installation Meeting.