Major Charles Alfred Cuthbert Keeson VD joined the Lodge having been initiated into Lombardian Lodge No 2348 in February 1891, being installed as Worshipful Master of that Lodge in 1900. He was born in London on 23 October 1857.
He rose through the ranks of the progressive offices of Victoria Rifles Lodge until he was installed as Worshipful Master in 1898. He was Director of Ceremonies from January 1903 to October 1915 when he became Worshipful Master for the second time. He then resumed his role as Director of Ceremonies until 1925, a total of twenty-one years.
He was a member of the Quatuor Coronati Correspondence Circle and awarded London Rank in 1908.
He was an excellent ritualist. On 27 February 1924 he even delivered the Traditional History “as delivered in an American Lodge”, a much more detailed rendition than is regularly given in English Lodges.
He was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in the Regiment on 22 June 1889. In 1903 the now Captain and Hon Major Keeson was given the Volunteer Officers’ Decoration. He resigned his commission in 1906.
He married Louisa Margaret Catherine Allen, and their son was Lt Col Cuthbert A G C Keeson OBE MC TD who followed his father into the Lodge and the Regiment. Charles was educated at Hurstpierpoint before becoming a journalist based in Red Lion Square. The couple had four other children.
“As a young man, as a keen swordsman, he created a School of Arms at Davies Street, and to the end of his days his interest in weapons of all kinds was very keen. He had formed a most interesting collection of medieval armour and weapons.”1
That collection that was sold at Sotheby’s after his death.
He resided at St Cuthbert’s, Crediton Hill, West Hampstead, London.
He passed away on 2 April 1925.
“His funeral was attended by the Commanding Officer, Major Cox, and by representatives of all ranks of the Battalion, and wreaths were laid by the Regiment, the officers, the sergeants, the corporals, the Old Comrades’ Association, the tennis club, and the Victoria Rifles Lodge.”2
- Obituary, Rifles Review 1925.
- Obituary, Hurst Johnian No 652 April 1925. Vol LXVIII (pg 97)