UGLE and WW2

Discussion in 'History and Research' started by Bloke, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Greeting Brothers

    One another site, I was talking about the Four Boxes (of Liberty) and the conversation went around a bit (hello if my counterpart is here). My counterpart said that UGLE did not take any position on WW2 (can't remember his exact words) and I asked if this was born of pacifism or an apolitical approach. No answers.

    Does anyone know anything about UGLE during WW2 and its support of War Effort patriotism, Home Defense or such and if it has an official position on the War, or otherwise actively refused to take a Position ?

    Sorry, I have gone back into the place to continue this conversation and the Bro has unsubscribed..
     
  2. kcalegal

    kcalegal Registered User

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    Fraternal Greetings Brethren All. I am a mwmber of Lodge True Freemasonry No. 1865 EC in thw District of Bengal, India.

    Several Members of the District of Bengal served in WW2 and we have a memorial for them and a book with the names of the Brethren who laid their life down.
    I am taking the liberty of adding a few pictures


    Sent from my Redmi Note 6 Pro using My Freemasonry mobile app
     
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  3. kcalegal

    kcalegal Registered User

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  4. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    Quarterly Communications from the end of ‘39 through ‘41 would probably be insightful.
     
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  5. bro.william

    bro.william Premium Member

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    the calligraphy there is beautifully written.
     
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  6. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

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  7. kcalegal

    kcalegal Registered User

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    I know. It is a treasured book kept in a place where everyone who enyers Freemasons Hall in Kolkata will see it.

    Sent from my Redmi Note 6 Pro using My Freemasonry mobile app
     
  8. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Correct, not exactly what I was after - but very interesting and I thank you !

    You might be interested in this
    http://www.themasonictrowel.com/Art...tmen_prisioners_of_war_masonic_activities.htm

    Lodge Liberation under UGLV was founded by men who met at Changi - it is still operating today..
     
  9. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    "
    BEHIND THE WIRE – MASONIC POWs
    The biggest enemy of PoWs was boredom, and it is not surprising that those who were members of "the Craft" eagerly grasped the opportunity to identify other Brethren, to hold meetings and rehearse ceremonies, even under the noses of the guards.
    The first Masonic records occur among French prisoners in England in 1746, and it was in 1761 that they formed their first Lodge, in Leeds. Two years later, when the Treaty of Paris was signed, they left for France after signing a memorandum thanking the Brethren of Talbot Lodge for their fraternal support.
    French prisoners were confined in large barracks, prisons and floating hulks. More than 9,000 were held in 44 floating prisons and 8 hospital ships ranging from Chatham in Kent to Plymouth in Devon. The Dartmoor Prison in Cornwall was built in 1806, ostensibly to house PoWs and in time for the Peninsula War, and by 1812 had 11,000 war prisoners alone.
    In the American War of Independence, it is recorded that the Lodge Box of the 46th Foot Regiment was captured by Washington's forces and was subsequently returned on Washington's personal orders, under a guard of honour. In 1766 Gen. Washington's instructions to Col. Webb, concerning prisoners taken at the Battle of Trenton, New Jersey, were to treat them humanely, give them no reason to complain and provide them with everything necessary. Were these the words of a Freemason at heart?
    On to WW2, and although Freemasons still existed in Germany and Italy, Lodges were suppressed by the Fascists. However, Masonic meetings were held by PoWs. At Stalag 383 in the Nuremberg area, as in others, meetings took place in a hut, and a chair was placed for the Tyler (the Guard, usually outside) inside the door, which would give sufficient warning time for brethren to claim that it was a meeting of an 'International Group'.
    By 1945 membership in Stalag 383 was 82 and it was discovered that another, smaller group had been formed, called ‘The Chess Club', as much to the confusion of genuine players as to the Germans. Strangely, these two groups worked independently and secretly, and were unaware of each other. The latter group worked only the First Degree, but had a Benevolent Committee, and one task was to do the washing for all the hospital patients. Only ex-POWs could really appreciate that!
    At Viana Camp in Italy, 20 brethren held meetings in the Library of what had been a Priests’ Rest House. They made their own regalia and it was concealed in a cavity behind the mantelpiece. Because of frequent searches they were very careful. However, it is said that on one occasion the Italian Camp Commandant, who was a Mason, sent a bottle of brandy to their supposedly secret meeting, with best wishes for an enjoyable evening.
    Masonic meetings were held in Japanese PoW camps under the guise of religious meetings, to which the Japs usually had no objection, but they were still unpredictable, ranging from turning a blind eye to severe punishment.
    When Singapore fell in February 1942, 50,000 British, Australian & Indian Troops were imprisoned in the four barracks at Changi. In September ‘42 the first Masonic meeting took place in Seleray Barracks, when 21 brethren attended. All, except one Briton, were Australian. Another group of about 8 met in a bombed house, while yet another met in the convalescence depot.
    Accordingly Changi PoW Masonic Association was formed and being predominantly Australian it operated a L.of I. (Lodge of Instruction) according to the rules of the United Grand Lodge of Victoria. First meeting was in the old theatre at Roberts Barracks and then they moved to the bomb-damaged Command Church for the next twelve meetings. Although the Church was screened by a grove of trees, several Assistant Tylers were always in place to give warning of approaching Cowans, Japanese or otherwise. Collections (of cigarettes) were made for those in hospital. Subscriptions were 10 cents a month, hospital patients exempt. Many prisoners were transferred to Thailand to work on the Death Railway where, owing to impossible conditions, no known Masonic activity took place.
    The final membership of 222 represented 13 constitutions and, from its members post-war, Lodge Liberation No. 674 was formed in Melbourne in November 1949, under the United Grand Lodge of Victoria. It still exists today. One of its illustrious members was (Bro.) Sir Edward Ernest (Weary) Dunlop. CMG, OBE, Kt. Initiated in Lodge Liberation No. 674 in 1954, Sir Edward Dunlop, or ‘Weary’ as thousands knew him, became a national hero.
    A brilliant student and sportsman, he graduated as a surgeon and played rugby for Australia before going to England to complete his medical studies. When World War 2 broke out, he volunteered as an Army Surgeon, serving in Palestine, Greece and Egypt before transferring to Java.
    Weary was captured with his hospital and spent over three years as a PoW under the Japanese. His care for men under his command and his defiance of his captors in the face of brutality, starvation and death made him a legend. Returning to Australia in 1945, Weary dedicated his life to the care of former prisoners of war. He went on to become a pioneering cancer surgeon and taught throughout Asia under the Colombo Plan. He passed to "the Grand Lodge Above" in 1993.
    Jorge E Torres's photo."
    https://www.facebook.com/JeffLewisD...s-was-boredom-and-it-is-not-/750814578386318/
    There is a book "Behind the Wire" - I have been after a copy of it for years.. looks like it is in print again ! http://www.acacia-masonic-regalia.co.uk/acatalog/Behind-the-Wire.html#.XQ29949S9PY
     
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  10. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Thanks for the history lesson Brother Bloke. Very interesting and informative!
     
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