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Unveiling of the Memorial to Freemasons awarded the Victoria Cross during WW1

Unveiling of the Memorial to Freemasons awarded the Victoria Cross during WW1

26 April 2017

For almost three years, Andrew Glover, Farebrother, has been involved in a project to mark the centenary of the First World War and to commemorate the Freemasons who were awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for their actions during the war. The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest military award of the United Kingdom honours system. It is awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the British armed forces. 

The project started in 2013 when Eric Pickles, then the Communities Secretary, announced a competition to design a commemorative paving stone to be placed in the birth town of each of the 628 winners of the Victoria Cross during the First World War.

With the 300th anniversary of Freemasonry this year, furthermore with the understanding that Freemasons Hall was constructed as a peace memorial to those who gave their lives in the war, it was fitting that an installation to commemorate those Freemasons - who won the VC - would be an appropriate way to mark these occasions. The installation is situated outside of the United Grand Lodge of England, on Great Queen Street, WC2.

The size of the project became apparent as the original 41 winners quickly grew to 64, an incredible proportion of those awarded in total. Three men were awarded the Victoria Cross 102 years ago, in recognition of their actions as they landed at Gallipoli. They were part of a group of six men awarded the VC that morning, who became known as 'the six before breakfast'.

This successful project has required a huge amount of work with a combination of the UGLE VC Paving Committee, Sears Davies, Camden and Stonewest, to refine the design, procure and carve the stone, install it and finally, on 25th April 2017, unveil it.

To watch the unveiling by the Duke of Kent, take a look at the YouTube link below.

https://youtu.be/qPH468KU_90