Canadian Freemasons Sponsor Military Hospital in 1914

Tuesday, November 24, 1914

Camp Salisbury Plain, West Down South

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Duty Battalion.  Sent representatives to Canadian Lodge, London.”  [1]


THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY:  Almost immediately following the outbreak of the War, prominent Canadian individuals and organizations stepped forward with generous offers to fund the establishment of hospitals and other necessary facilities in Britain for the care of ill or wounded British and Canadian soldiers. Numerous meetings were held and plans formulated.  This earlier report from London discusses the subject, and explains the significance of the term “Canadian Lodge, London,” referred to in today’s War Diary entry.

“London, Sept 10.  The scheme for the establishment of the Queen’s Canadian Military Hospital is now well underway with the opening of offices in the Canadian Pacific building as the headquarters for Surgeon-in-Chief, Donald Armour.  Sir William Osler will act as physician-in-chief, and the staff and personnel will be entirely Canadian.  The nursing staff will be made up of volunteers, chiefly graduates of Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal.  The hospital will open with fifty beds, which will be extended to 200 as funds permit.  The location of the hospital is not yet decided, but the arrangements so far point to the vicinity of London as the probably choice.  The committee has also received the offer of a charming residence at Folkestone to accommodate 100 convalescents.  A motor ambulance for the transport of wounded has been placed at the disposal of the surgeon-in-chief, also several autos for the conveyance of convalescents from the hospital to the seaside.  Although the hospital, is launched under the auspices of the Canadian War Contingent Association, it is only fair to point out that this plan originated with the Canadian Lodge of Masons, which agreed to co-operate with the Association, and has made a generous contribution from the Masonic funds.  It is intended to make an appeal to the members of the craft in Canada.  Many individual subscriptions have already been received.  The War Office has officially accepted the offer of the hospital.” [3]

[1] War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Nov 24 1914.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa,
[2] “All Canadians On London Hospital Staff,” Quebec Daily Telegraph, Quebec, Friday, September 11, 1914, pg. 8, col. 5.
[3] Ibid.

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