As you all know Brethren, I have a great interest in all aspects of Irish Freemasonry, and to that end I have recently acquired a very fine Centenary plate produced in 1989 to mark 100 years of continuous Lodge working by the members of the London Irish Rifles Masonic Lodge No 2312 E.C.
The Foundation Master of this Lodge was the third son of Queen Victoria, H.R.H. Arthur Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, Grand Master of U.G.L.E. who acted as a Perpetual Worshipful Master of the London Irish Lodge for the first 53 years of its existence. He was assisted in this role by a deputy Master who conducted the business of Master if His Royal Highness was unavailable. The Lodge was one of four such Lodges in U.G.L.E. who were ruled by the Grand Master, the other Lodges being – Royal Alpha Lodge No 16; Aldershop Army and Navy Lodge No 1971 and the Old Wellingtonian Lodge No 3404.Each of these Lodges were granted the rights to strike a special members jewel incorporating the ducal coronet and the personal crest of Arthur Duke of Connaught and Strathearn.
No mention of the London Irish would be complete without recording the name of Rifleman Frank Edwards who gained everlasting glory in the Great War ( 1914-18 ) due to his kicking a football in front of the charge by the battalion at the Battle of Loos. From then on he was always known as The Footballer of Loos, and his story has been told in an excellent book of the same name.