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English Freemasonry and the First World War

By: The Library & Museum of Freemasonry

Diane Clements Director


A new book from Lewis Masonic, which examines the impact of the First World War on English Freemasonry.


When Britain declared war on 4th August 1914, English Freemasonry faced unprecedented circumstances. Freemasonry was, and is, non-political, and the discussion of politics at Masonic meetings was, and is, forbidden. During this period, however, the United Grand Lodge of England, the governing body for Freemasonry in England and Wales and across much of the British Empire, had to deal with the impact of global war. The book examines the effect of the First World War on Freemasons in England, on Freemasons fighting on the Western Front and elsewhere and on Freemasons held as prisoners of war. The war created new, war-related charitable causes for which Freemasons raised funds, prompted a response from the established Masonic charities and fostered the formation of a major new Masonic charity in the post war period. Freemasons’ Hall in Great Queen Street in London, completed in 1933, was dedicated to the Freemasons that died in the war. It was one of many different types of memorials created by Freemasons. The end of the war saw a significant increase in membership of Masonic lodges and geographical expansion, which created new challenges for the Grand Lodge.


The richly illustrated book draws on the extensive collections held by the Library and Museum and will coincide with an exhibition called English Freemasonry and the First World War to be held at The Library and Museum of Freemasonry at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London. Amongst the objects, images and documents pictured in the book are lodge fittings created from appropriated war materiel, souvenirs from freemasonry on the front line and diaries kept by Masonic prisoners of war. This fascinating, informative and richly illustrated book covers:


  • The Masonic World in 1914
  • Men at War - the serving Brethren and volunteers
  • Prisoners of War
  • Roll of Honour and Memorials
  • Trench Art
  • Charity
  • Post War World


The printing is superb and the illustrations of very high quality and they pack every page. The paper used is high quality, semi-gloss and the type is easy to read for older eyes. Diane Clements and her team have trawled the extensive records held by the library and thus we are able to see and read things, which have been lying there for many years. It is an excellent read and superb as a memento of a visit to the exhibition where much more of what the library and museum holds is on display. It is an excellent and timely Christmas gift for any Mason.



Paperback, approx. A4 size, 96 pages, £14.99

Published by Lewis Masonic

Purchase this title online at

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