The Prestonian Lecture for 2019 - Freemasonry and The Great War
FREEMASONRY AND THE GREAT WAR
HOW MASONRY REACTED TO THE WAR YEARS
When Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914, Freemasonry in England faced unprecedented circumstances. The United Grand Lodge of England for the first time had to contend with the impact of a global war.
English Masonic Lodges continued to meet during the war years and this booklet is very much an account of the way Freemasonry and many Lodges reacted to the conflict. Much of the information having been researched from individual Lodge Histories and Minute Books.
The Prestonian Lecture is the only Masonic lecture given under the authority of the United Grand Lodge of England. It is named after William Preston who in the late 1700’s was a foremost Masonic educator. Preston researched when and where he could, interviewed many other Masons and then wrote lectures and a famous book with the title Illustrations of Masonry.
Before he died, Preston requested that lectures be presented each year. Apart from a few gaps, lectures named ‘Prestonian’ have been given annually and today the lecturer and his subject is chosen by Grand Lodge.