1939-1945 War Years
Whilst delving through our Lodge minutes covering our meetings over this period we discovered, where legible as they were all hand written and in some cases very difficult to read, that they continued in the same vein as today, describing the events of the meetings and surprisingly, with little emphasis of the on-going war. It wasn’t until we reached the meeting held during Saturday 15th February 1947 that the following report was written. It was mentioned, in the minutes at the second rising, as follows:
The Assistant Secretary read a report (below) from the meeting held during February 15th 1947 of the activities of the Lodge (as recorded in the Minute book) during the 1939/1945 war. It was proposed by W Bro. H J Murrell and seconded by W Bro. B J Allen that the report be approved and on being put to the Lodge was carried unanimously.
The Lodge was fortunate in being able to hold every regular meeting during the 1939/1945 War, altogether 30 regular and 2 emergency meetings were held at the Masonic Hall, Southend-on-Sea, at which 1667 members attended, an average of 52 per meeting.
The Lodge was also honoured with 512 guests at these meetings an average of 16 per meeting, many of whom were members of His Majesty’s Forces who were stationed in or passing through the town, a record of which we are proud considering that Southend was in the Coast Defence area, and many members had evacuated for business or other reasons.
Many of these meetings were held while Enemy activity and air battles were going on overhead, particularly during the Battle of Britain.
A number of the Brethren served in His Majesty’s Forces and Civil Defence Force, three of whom made the Supreme Sacrifice, they were:-
Bro Herbert Samuel Sadler
Royal Air Force, killed in Air Combat 5th February 1941
Bro Frank Gordon Warwick Roberts
Royal Air Force, killed in action over Germany
Bro Theodore Robson
Killed by Enemy Action 10th October 1940
The Lodge is also proud to record Bro. Robert Henry John Price was honoured by His Majesty the King with the award of the British Empire Medal while serving as Sergeant with the Royal Corps of Signals.
SIGNED: S E George WM
It is interesting to note that the Assistant Secretary read the report although we cannot discover who that was? - as his name was not recorded in the Officer Listing. We can only assume that the then Secretary Arthur Cotgrove must have played a large part in its production by virtue of having all the details of the meetings throughout that period.