As pillars of community support and camaraderie, The British Legion and Freemasonry share common ground, fostering a bond that transcends time. A distinguished Freemason, Field Marshal, Sir Douglas Haig, was instrumental in forming the British Legion. Freemasons’ Hall was originally built as the Masonic Peace Memorial in 1933, so it is no surprise that Freemasons consider Remembrance Day a significant event.
Approximately 15 years ago, Peter Cole reached out to the British Legion with a unique request. He inquired about the possibility of Freemasons from Ashton participating in the Remembrance service at the Cenotaph in Ashton U Lyne by laying a wreath. Little did he anticipate that, over the years, he and fellow Brethren from Ashton Masons would not only attend the ceremony but also do so wearing their Masonic Collars. This distinctive occurrence took place last year and has become a tradition, thanks to the Dispensation granted by the RW Provincial Grand Master/ME Grand Superintendent, allowing the wearing of Masonic Collars during Services of Remembrance.
This year, Peter was joined by a group of dedicated individuals, including Stewart Tennant, David Holt, Alex Miller, Jason Lester, and Andy Robson from Lodges in Ashton. Audenshaw Freemason Vic Murphy, hailing from Audenshaw, also participated, proudly displaying his Masonic collar. The assembly included other Freemasons who attended in Military Uniform. At the same time, Ron Kershaw wearing the uniform of the St Johns Ambulance Brigade, a symbol of his continued service to the organisation. As well as working to support Masonic charities, Ron is a very active member of the British Legion. Both Ron and Peter attended a second memorial service at the memorial in Waterloo, Ashton U Lyne.