If you have come to this page you may not know about our Lodge, about the Victoria Rifles or even about Masonry. This page will hopefully give the curious, casual or first time visitor to these pages some options on where to begin.
Our pages on the history of this, the Victoria Rifles Lodge No 822 are divided into two parts: Part One deals with the period the Lodge was closely associated with the Victoria Rifles Regiment (under is many names throughout its history). Part Two deals with the Lodge in its new guise as the Installed Masters’ Lodge for the Circuit of Service Lodges.
There are more detailed pages about this Lodge covering the Brethren that have served as Worshipful Master since 1860, there is information on the Lodge Jewels, the Lodge Family Tree and many of the names on the various pages link to biographies of those Brethren, and there are more biographies under the Distinguished Brethren drop down menu (click on the About menu at the top right and follow that down).
There is some information on the Founders of the Lodge and the Consecration.
The UGLE constitution mandates our Lodge as a male institution. For ladies interested in Freemasonry – serving, retired or otherwise – we would be happy to make an introduction to HFAF.
If you are a serving or retired member of the Armed Forces or have an interest in the Lodge from a military perspective you may be interested in the pages on this website that serve to preserve memory of an important Regiment that has sadly been amalgamated into the history books.
This page gives a short overview of the history of the Regiment. There are biographies of the eight members of the Lodge who have commanded the Regiment together with biographies of a number of other officers of the Regiment who also served the Lodge.
There are also pages on some of the key events in the history of the Regiment and the role played in those events by Brethren of this Lodge such as the South African or Boer War, the Hill 60 action during the First World War that saw the first Territorial VC awarded to a member of the Regiment, and the Defence of Calais in 1940 that allowed the evacuation of Dunkirk. There is a page on those Brethren Interned as PoWs following the fall of Calais.
There are several historic images depicting officers of the Regiment in 1863 and 1915 that highlight the connections between the Lodge and the Regiment. There is also a somewhat incomplete record of the uniforms of the Regiment.
There is a page dedicated to the memory of those Brethren of the Lodge who gave their lives for their country, which details those members of the Regiment who were members of other Lodges and whose biographies are held by another useful site of Masonic military history, the Masonic Great War Project. There is also some information on the memorials to the Officers and Regiment.
There are also some limited suggestions for further reading for those with interests beyond the extremely limited scope of this website.
Family History & Individual Stories
As noted above many of the pages have links to individual biographies of members of the Lodge. There is even a specific page that details many of the family connections of the members of the Lodge and Regiment.
There are a number of fascinating stores behind what might otherwise simply be a list of names and we offer these snippets to see if we can tempt you to explore further:
- The eminent Victorian civil engineer whose works remain visible, if often unnoticed in the Capital
- The Army Officer who was involved in the first tank actions in the First World War
- The Officer who commanded the Regiment’s detachment in the South African War and went on the take the Regiment to France at the start of the First World War.
- The father and son who were early members and Scots Earls.
- The Young Officer who went to France in 1940, evaded capture at Calais and rowed himself back across the Channel.
- The Founder who was also the first Grand Secretary of the Mark in England.
- The Regimental Officer who printed The London Gazette and was the sixth generation of his family firm of printers that are still working today.
- A long serving Private in the Regiment and Royal Academician painter.
- The Senior Officer who spent a significant amount of the Second World War writing the Interned PoWs from the Regiment, keeping spirits up, getting news to the families and even occasionally “commissioning’ interned soldiers to get them off work detail in the Camp.
- The Regimental Medical Officer who won the DSO at Hill 60 treating the wounded under fire.
- The Brother described by the BMJ as “probably the doyen of otolaryngologists in England“
- To highlight the breadth of experience of the members beyond the Regiment there is a senior judge, a head of the UK Atomic Energy Association, and an Australian Member of the LTA.
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