Royal Engineers (Chatham) Lodge,
No. 4465 Province of East Kent
The first meeting to consider forming the Royal Engineers (Chatham) Lodge was held at the Masonic Hall, Franklin Road, Gillingham Kent on March 2nd 1922. Before the consecration of the lodge, many meetings were held to finalise the structure as to how the lodge would proceed and be furnished. One of the many decisions was the design of the badge that would best depict the Royal Engineers (Chatham) Lodge.
The first design to be submitted was a Crown and Grenade; however the design was sent to the Secretary War Office but was rejected as Military Emblems could not be embossed onto the Lodge badge. The agreed final and current design is that of an Obelisk with the word Ubique displayed underneath and Royal Engineers Chatham Lodge 4465 encircled. Ubique comes from the Royal Engineers Corps badge meaning ‘everywhere’.
The consecration took place at the Freemasons Hall, Balmoral Road, Gillingham Kent on October 16th 1922 and was attended by the Right Worshipful the Provincial Grand Master Colonel Fiennes Stanley Wykeham Cornwallis C.B.E, J.P & D.L and several Provincial Grand Officers. Our first Worshipful Master at the consecration was Worshipful Brother George Edward Carrington who was Past Master of the Royal Engineers Lodge No 2599 (London) and the Rochester Lodge No 3494 .
As the lodge began to evolve with regular meetings, the membership only being drawn from those who had served or were serving with the Royal Engineers, above the rank of Corporal. Incredibly even during World War Two when the majority of the membership responded to the service of the country those that remained continued to hold meetings. It became increasingly difficult to hold those meetings in the evenings and so it was temporarily changed to hold them on a Saturday Afternoon during the summer months but even then meetings were interrupted during air raids so that the members could seek shelter. However, at the ceasing of hostilities, four members had made the ultimate sacrifice to the service of their country, two as POW’s and two in conflict.
During the post war years meetings began to be restored to the regular months and days, although the festive board was somewhat limited due to rationing remaining in force. Membership though began to increase and in 1956 the first civilian was initiated into the Royal Engineers (Chatham) Lodge. Coincidently the membership accelerated during this time and in 1965 there were around 179 members registered.