NEWS: Memorial unveiling ceremony to Honour the 64 Freemasons awarded the VC in WWI

The special event will take place on the 25th April and will see 64 Freemasons awarded the Victoria Cross honoured with a new memorial at Freemasons’ Hall in Covent Garden.

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Taking place from 11am outside the Freemasons’ Hall, the event will see the 64 freemasons presented with special commemorative stones bearing their names, which will be laid outside the Freemasons’ Hall building in Covent Garden, London.

The Freemasons’ Hall is one of the largest peace memorials dedicated to every Freemason who fell in WW1.

This special event will be hosted by Broadcaster and journalist Katie Derham, while the likes of HRH The Duke of Kent will be in attendance, along with Brigadier Willie Shackell, Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England, other military dignitaries and current family members of the VC recipients.

During the event, the audience will be entertained by The Band of The Grenadier Guards who will perform military anthems as well as The North London Military Wives Choir, while footage from World War One will be shown on a large screen.

The ceremony is part of celebrations, marking this year’s 300th anniversary of The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) as well as looking ahead to 2018’s  100th anniversary of the end of WW1.

The Freemasons being recognised represent an astonishing 1 in 10 of all VCs awarded during The Great War, and that figure becomes 1 in 6 when including those awarded to Freemasons who were members of other Grand Lodges globally. Remarkably, these include three of the famous ‘Six VCs Before Breakfast’ awarded to members of the 1st Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers during their capture of ‘W’ Beach at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.

Brigadier Willie Shackell, Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England, said: “To be awarded the Victoria Cross is the highest honour for bravery and we are immensely proud and inspired to remember our 64 brethren who exemplify the best in men.It is also appropriate that this event is taking place during our Tercentenary year when much of the activity is about highlighting the values of Freemasonry that we all hold dear – fraternity, charity and integrity. Camaraderie, new friendships and support are some of the main reasons people join Freemasonry, and numerous servicemen have been Masons since our founding 300 years ago.”

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