The Military Lodge 2621 was formed in 1896 by a group of serving Officers and NCOs from various regiments at a time when the RAF didn’t exist and the Army and Navy were large and deployed all over the world.
Times have changed and our members are from all services and other walks of life with a strong Military and Historical interest bond. Of course, as Masons we share similar core principles of respect, truth and charity.
“Which one?” is the usual reply to my answer,” the Military Lodge”, whenever I am asked the question, “and which Lodge do you belong to?”
I then explain that it is THE Military Lodge No. 2621, and it is not associated to any particular part of the armed services but encompasses them all.
The Lodge which celebrated its centenary in 1996 has always been proud of its Military background, and although originally restricted to Army personnel, it was not until 1923 that a proposal for a candidate who did not hold ‘Military’ qualifications was accepted and from that time, members of the Air Force and Royal Navy were admitted!
In the late 60’s, the pressure of overseas postings and dwindling lodge members saw the first non military personnel admitted. The lodge currently does not have any active Military personnel, although a lot of the older brethren in the lodge are ex servicemen, and the usual ‘inter service’ banter is still enjoyed in our festive boards. Until recently we had two Chelsea pensioners, as members, who always brightened up our meetings, resplendent in their scarlet uniforms.
The Lodge was consecrated at Freemasons Hall, Gt. Queen St on July 30th 1896, by the then Grand Secretary, V.W. Brother Edward Letchworth. The petition was sponsored by No.1 Grandmasters Lodge, no doubt reflecting the influence of one of the founding members W. Brother Major E. Stillwell, P. Prov G.S.W (Sussex) P.G.D. who was a Past Master of that Lodge.
The first 50 years of our history covered the South African War (1899 -1902). The Great War (1914 -1918) and the Second World War (1939 – 1945).
It is interesting to note that during the first 2 campaigns, no Lodge meetings were cancelled, despite the absence of many of the members on active service. In contrast to the Second World War, where meetings were often cancelled due to the danger of assemblies being bombed by enemy action over London.
The high turnover of members and the number of guests recorded during this time, reflected the presence in London of Freemasons from all over the world on active duty, who found companionship and Brotherhood universal during their stay in this country, and we continue to offer a hearty welcome to any Military personnel serving or retired, who are made especially welcome to join us whenever they are in town. We currently meet at Mark Mason’s Hall (near Gt. Queen Street) so if you are in London visiting or planning to join a London Lodge, with a unique history, we always welcome new ‘recruits’.