Was Winston Churchill a Freemason?
Winston Churchill (born 1874), who led Great Britain through World War II, was a Freemason, albeit discreetly so.
Who was Winston Churchill?
Churchill’s achievements and decorations are great and numerous. We mostly know him as the Prime Minister of the UK who took on the Nazi regime during World War II. But did you know that even prior to that, he already had a distinguished military and political career at home and abroad?
The Cuban war of independence
A young Winston Churchill was sent, along with a colleague Reginald Barnes, to observe the war of independence in far-off Cuba. They didn’t only watch, but found themselves engaged in direct combat, on the side of the Spanish Troops, who were suppressing the independence movement.
Reginald Barnes would later become a highly decorated Major-General of the British Armed Forces.
Churchill in British India
Churchill was a lieutenant in the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars, a cavalry regiment in the British Army. In October of 1986, the 4th Hussars were deployed to India, a British colony at the time, and Churchill stayed there for nearly 2 years. It was here in India, where Churchill began to educate himself with a variety of deep and historical subjects.
Churchill in The Sudan
The young officer Churchill, not being content with sitting on the sidelines, made it his mission to be directly involved in a military conflict that was happening in The Sudan, a country in the Horn of Africa. He pushed to be deployed there, under the command of the infamous Commander, Herbert Kitchener. Churchill directly fought in these battles.
Back to Britain and a career in Politics
A meteoric rise in Churchill’s political Career took place on his return from his Imperial war duties. He moved from powerful political posts to even more powerful posts until becoming the war-time Prime Minister of the UK that we all know. He took office on May 10, 1940, the same day that Nazi Germany begins the invasion Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. (How’s that for a first day at work!).
Winston Churchill and Freemasonry
So now that we have a small glimpse into who Churchill was, let’s take a look at his career in Freemasonry.
Winston Churchill joined Freemasonry at a time when it was popular among society’s higher echelons. Prince Edward VII, the then Prince of Wales had recently become the Grand Master of the organization; he would later become King Edward VII of Great Britain. Some of Churchill’s ancestors were also Masons.
Winston Churchill is initiated into Freemasonry
Winston Churchill was initiated into Freemasonry in May 1901, into a Masonic Lodge called “Studholme Lodge No. 1591”. This Masonic Lodge still exists today under a different name; “United Studholme Alliance Lodge No.1591”.
Churchill then received his 2nd Masonic Degree shortly after and finally in March 1902, he was raised to the 3rd and highest degree in Freemasonry, becoming a Master Mason.
Winston Churchill’s Masonic Career
Upon being initiated into Freemasonry and given the tremendous war-time responsibilities, it’s understandable that Churchill wasn’t the most active Freemason. His Masonic Career is a reputable one, albeit not as active as other preceding Freemason Statesmen, such as President George Washington.
“Winston Churchill was initiated as a young man but never progressed in the order and has no part for many years”, were the telling words of the Grand Secretary of English Freemasonry (Sir Sidney White).
Taking a backseat
Before Churchill became Prime Minister, he was First Lord of the Admiralty – the most senior political officer in charge of Britain’s Naval forces. Due to the rising threat of Nazi Germany, it was Churchill’s duty to make sure the Navy was fully prepared for any potential aggression.
Shortly after his Naval appointment, Churchill resigned from his Masonic Lodge, but still kept his Freemasonry membership.
He even continued to interact with the Organization, including writing letters to the Grand Master of English Freemasonry in support of a group of Freemasons wanting to establish a new Masonic Lodge. The Grand Master at the time was the Duke of Connaught, the 7th child of Queen Victoria.
A two-time British Prime Minister and an ex-official resident of the United States suffered an awful stroke that left him in the drastic condition. He died at the age of 90 in 1965 at London, nine days after the stroke and one year after his retirement from the Parliament. His death left grievance for the Britain people and left behind a prodigious legacy.
Winston Churchill is one of the most influential, albeit controversial, figures of the last century; a career filled with service and a great War. It was such great service that likely prevented him from become one of the more active Freemason Statesmen. A very honorable mention.