The Name on the Board
By Worshipful Brother Craig Pedersen
Published in the 2016 GLSA Southern Division Spring Ball Magazine
One night while wandering around the de Goede Hoop Temple, I stopped and read the names on the Roll of Honour board commemorating those of our Brethren who had served in the First World War. I found myself wondering who these people were. Certainly they were Freemasons, but who were they as individuals?
One of them, Bro Douglas GB Jardine, had not only fought for our country but had, indeed, made the supreme sacrifice. I spent a little time online the following morning and found some details.
This article is based on information extracted from “The Great Zeppelin Raid that Never Was”, which lends some insight into the life of our fallen Brother. Captain Jardine had been in Great Yarmouth for just one week. The transfer to Home Establishment followed three months’ leave in Cape Town, where he had begun to recover from the stress of intense combat in France.
He had hoped that Great Yarmouth would complete the cure. The little town was just giving itself over to modest indoor enjoyment when a crewman aboard the Leman Bank lightship, 30 miles off the coast, happened to look up.
Three Zeppelins, having moved clear of the cloud and bathed in rays of summer evening sunlight, cruised majestically west on parallel courses at 15 000 feet. The alarm was raised immediately. Aircraft were quickly scrambled. Douglas Jardine, piloting a DH-9 with Lieutenant ER Munday as his observer was the fourth aircraft aloft, following three DH-4s. Soon there were 13 aircraft in the air and 20 more aircraft were despatched from further inland.
Dawn found four Zeppelins scattered over the North Sea and heading home. All had bombed alternative targets of opportunity, or so they believed, but no bombs fell on British soil that night. They had all splashed harmlessly into the sea.
By dawn, two aircraft, a Camel flown by Lieutenant GF Hodgson from Burgh Castle and the DH-9 of Jardine and Munday, had not been accounted for. It seemed likely that they had landed or crashed somewhere in the countryside.
The status of Hodgson in the Camel and Jardine and Munday in the DH-9, moved inexorably from ‘overdue’ to ‘failed to return’ to, finally, ‘assumed killed in action’. The body of Douglas Jardine was later left by the sea on a lonely Danish beach. He was buried in the grounds of a church at nearby Verderso. May his departed soul rest in peace – and his memory live on forever within our fraternity