They died while serving their Country
Thirty one Somerset brethren have been identified as losing their life while in service of their Country. Twenty eight are included in the Masonic Great War Project and a further three were found on the Somerset Freemasons Memorial at Wells Cathedral.
The 31 brethren were predominantly officers and from middle and upper classes. They include 1 Peer, 1 Clergyman, 3 doctors, solicitors, teachers, soldiers and businessmen as well as a professional organist and a theatrical agent.
Five were lost at sea, a further three died in Africa and two in Mesopotamia (Iraq). Five died in the UK from ill health and in one case in an accident. The average age at death was 36, the youngest 22, the eldest 55. Twelve were over 40.
Many had earlier military careers in the Yeomanry or Militia. Three had served in the South African Wars. One had been a pioneer settler in Canada.
There are recorded instances of bravery, of concern for others and of misfortune.The link to Somerset is in some cases unclear or transient. Presumably their occupation brought them to Somerset where they were either initiated or joined a local lodge.
Included in the list are Members of Lodge Marine No. 232 (2 deaths) and Royal Naval Lodge No. 2761 (3 deaths). At the time these lodges were based in Calcutta and Malta respectively.
The Brethren have been identified to 16 of the 88 Lodges in Somerset. It is hoped that Lodge records will provide more detail.
You can view the list of Somerset casualties and learn more about each from here. In order to remember the service and sacrifice of each brother, they will be recorded in the Compass Magazine as the anniversary occurs. Each Lodge is also invited to have a simple act of remembrance at the meeting closest to each anniversary date.
The Somerset Freemasons Memorial – Wells Cathedral, Somerset
The Somerset Freemasons Memorial is a brass plaque on the North Wall of the North Transept of Wells Cathedral, Somerset.
The Inscription reads:
TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN MEMORY OF THOSE FREEMASONS OF SOMERSET WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR KING AND COUNTRY IN THE GREAT WAR OF:
- 1914 – 1918Lt Col E H Openshaw
- Major W Jane
- Capt The Earl Poulett
- Capt Rev C E Doudney
- Capt A H Baker
- Capt F T Burrough
- Capt W B Dyke
- Capt C R Howard
- Capt F A C Liebert
- Capt B F Perkins*
- Capt R O Powell
- Capt W F Smartt
- Capt J Spottiswoode
- Capt J N Traylor
- Capt P F Wheddon
- Lt E F Fielding MM
- Lt D Goodman
- Lt H R Miles
- Lt W R Treliving
- 2nd Lt A H Larcombe
- Sergt N J Reynolds
- Corpl P Blinman
- Pte F McDermott
- Capt W G Price*
- Ch Steward E Knight*
This tablet was erected and the figures of St George and St David were placed above the High Altar by their Brethren.
THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE
*Not included in the Masonic Great War Project list.
Somerset Great War Dead – Book of Remembrance.
An illuminated Book of Remembrance is displayed in St Martin’s Chapel at Wells Cathedral.
Within the Book are inscribed the names of all natives of Somerset who fell in the war, irrespective of the Fighting Service to which they belonged, or the Unit in which they served, as well as the names of all those who, though not Somerset born, lost their lives while serving in County Units. It contains in all a roll of honour comprising nearly 11,300 names.
Of two additional photographic reproductions of the Memorial Book, one has been presented to the British Museum and the other to the Castle Museum, Taunton.
An abstracted list and further details can be found at: www.parkhouse.org.uk
Not all Somerset Freemason casualties are recorded within the Book. Thirteen that were not Somerset-born or serving in Somerset Units were not included.