Service remembers Coupar Lodge’s fallen

The empty chairs for the Fallen.
The empty chairs for the Fallen.

A masonic lodge held a special and moving service recently in honour of six members who lost their lives in the First World War.

The loss of six Brethren and the service of 137 others was commemorated by Lodge Coupar o’ Fife, one of the oldest continuous organisations in the town.

During the First World War the lodge alone contributed 143 men to the country’s military forces, with 128 of them listed on the lodge roll of honour.

The greatest number, 24, served with the Royal Army Medical Corps, including six doctors, followed by the Black Watch and the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry.

Of the six members killed, five are honoured at Cupar war memorial and one at Tayport.

Lodge senior warden Douglas Abercrombie said this week: “In 1918, the lodge commissioned the roll of honour - a ‘work of art’ created by a member - as directed by Grand Lodge in correspondence dated 1915.” It was followed by the dedication and unveiling of a brass plaque in the Masonic Hall in the Bonnygate in 1921.

Douglas added: ”During the First World War our hall was requisitioned by the Government to billet the Lanarkshire Yeomanry. At this time, lodge meetings were held in the YMCA in the Ladywynd.”

During the recent ‘Memorial Lodge’ service, the Last Post and Flowers of the Forest were played by members. Seven “empty chairs” in honour of the six fallen members, plus one for the “Unknown fallen Freemason,” were set out in the hall.

The final act of remembrance was the signal of a trench whistle - the last sound many of the soldiers would hear.

The six names were then read and a lit candle snuffed out. Six miniature crosses were also planted in the garden of remembrance in Princes Street, Edinburgh. Anyone with information about lodge members who served in either of the World Wars is asked to contact Douglas on 0774 923 1302, or any member.