Lance Corporal George William Hope


Lance Corporal George William Hope, No. 9432, A.P.C. was a Freemason and member of Lodge Temperance 2557 which at the time met at the Royal Assembly Rooms, Westgate Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

George was called up for war service in October 1916 and joined the Army Pay Corp. He was assigned as a clerk to the Corp’s depot in York. He was promoted to acting Lance Corporal in April 1917 before being discharged on the 1st September 1917 as being no longer physically fit for war service.  The cause of his discharge as reported by the Army Medical Board, is given as “Physically unfit. Tubercular disease of lungs”. It goes on to say: “Orig. Since childhood. Newcastle. Not result of but aggravated by ordinary military service. Permanent. Total incapacity 6 months. Will require residential sanatorium treatment.”  There is no WW1 Medal Roll for George which might be expected as he did not see foreign service or enter a theatre of war.

George was the son of Edward and Ann Hope (nee Wilson) who were married in Newcastle in 1889. They had at least two children of which only one survived childhood:

  • ·         George William Hope (b  1890)

George was born in Elswick, Newcastle Upon Tyne but in the census taken in April 1911 was living with his parents at 73, Dinsdale Road, Shieldfield, Newcastle Upon Tyne. He is shown as being single and working as a clerk for a newspaper.

At the Lodge Temperance 2557 meeting held at the Assembly Rooms on the 16th September 1912 George was proposed by Bro. Thomas Allinson and seconded by Bro. Leonard Reid as a fit and proper person to be made a Freemason. He was a 22 year old Clerk at the Chronicle office living at 73, Dinsdale Road. At the meeting of the 21st October  1912 a successful ballot was held and he was initiated into the Mysteries and Privileges of Ancient Freemasonry on the 16th December. He was passed to the second or Fellowcraft degree on the 12th February 1913 at Lodge Prudence 3424 and then back at Lodge Temperance was raised to the Sublime degree of a Master Mason on the 17th March 1913. He signed his Grand Lodge certificate on the 19th May 1913. Interestingly, his father Edward was also initiated, passed and raised at the same time.

At the Lodge meeting of the 17th September 1917, the Worshipful Master, Bro. Roderick Urquhart refered sympathetically to the death on September 11th of Bro. George William Hope and announced that he had sent on behalf of the Lodge a letter of condolence to his father Bro. Edward Hope. This was confirmed by the brethren standing to order. Tragically, George died only 11 days after being discharged from the Army. He is not listed by the commonwealth war graves commision most probably because he died from a reoccuring childhood illness after being discharged from the army.

From the Newcastle Evening Chronicle of September 12, 1917:

“Hope- 73, Dinsdale Road, 11th inst, aged 27 years, George William, dearly beloved son of Edward and Annie Hope. Interment at All Saints Cemetery, Friday; leave residence 2:30. Members of Lodge Temperance 2557 and Temperance Royal Arch Chapter kindly invited.”

Even worse is the death of his father Bro. Edward Hope just a year later. At the regular Lodge meeting held on the the 16th December 1918 the Worshipfull Master Br. Arthur B. Turner, made sympathetic reference to the death of Bro. Edward Hope and announced that he had instructed the secretary to send a letter of condolence which had been done and was confirmed by the brethren standing to order. It is difficult to imagine the grief felt by his widow having lost her only surviving child and husband in such a short time.

From the Newcastle Evening Chronicle of December 4th 1918:

“Hope – 73, Dindsale Rd., Sandyford, 2nd inst., aged 58, Edward Hope, dearly beloved husband of Ann Hope (20 years secretary Lodge Joseph Cowen Order of Druids). To  be interred at All Saints Cemetery, Fri. : lift at 3 p.m. Service in Salem U.M. Church, Falconar St,. at 3:15. All members of Lodge Temperance No. 2557 Order of Druids Rechabites and all friends kindly invited.”

“Hope – The Brethren of Lodge Temperance 2557, are requested to attend the funeral of our late esteeemed brother, Edward Hope.”

“Hope – All old members and friends of Rendel St. Chapel, Elswick, are requested to attend the funeral of the late Edward Hope on Fri,., Dec 6 1918. Please see notice”

George is commemorated on the Newcastle Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-18 and the Masonic Great War Project. Strangely, he is not listed on the hand written Roll of Honour for Lodge Temperance 2557 which is attached to the rear of a minute book and can be found here NUT 254.