Five Neate Brother’s and Russell Lodge L4413.

This story surprisingly starts far from Bedfordshire in fact it begins in Pontypool Monmouthshire South East Wales, where Albert Henry Neate in August 1888 was born to Henry and Clara Neate in a little village called Goytre. The village population was small in the mid 1800’s and in the 2011 UK Census this village still had a small population of 2393. Albert Henry had five other siblings, Horace Richard, Lewis William, Harry Harrison, Edwin John, and Hannah. After the births of Albert, Horace, and Lewis the family uproots and moved to Cheltenham Gloucestershire in 1896 where Harry, Edwin and their sister Hannah were born.


The First World War.

 Albert was too old for active service, but records show that in 1916 Horace joined the Royal Engineers Signal Corp and was posted to Fenny Stratford as a communications Telephonist he was then transferred to Canterbury Kent for more training and was promoted to Sergeant.

Horace’s Military records read he was transferred to Army Reserves in 1919 and surprisingly stated his home address as being the Pavilion Bedford Park, it is not clear from his military records why, but one can guess that due to Bedford Parks long standing connection with billeted servicemen before, during and probably after the First World War he was probably there in an engineering communication capacity based in the Pavilion. Unfortunately, his military service record was damaged as were many during the second world war Blitz. Anyway, young Horace found himself in this wonderful building and from here the family took its roots here in Bedford.

His brother Lewis also joined up in 1914 to the Royal Engineers Railways, both Lewis and Horace were awarded the Victory medal and British War medal. Records show after the war Lewis was living in Denmark Street in 1925 then Goldington Road in 1934.

Slowly the Neate Brothers moved to Bedford, Albert arrived in Bedford with his wife in 1925, they lived in Gladstone Street. youngest Brother Edwin moved to Bedford in 1922 and lived with Horace in the Pavilion. By 1925 all five Brothers lived in Bedford

The Masonic journey

 The interesting part of this story is that all Five Brothers were Initiated into Russell lodge during the same year 1924, Horace and Harry a double on the 6th of February, Lewis, and Edwin a double on 4th of September then their eldest brother Albert again a double with William Sear on 4th of December.

Just shows how busy they were in those early years after the lodge Consecration in 1922 and I glanced back through our Initiation Declarations in 1923 there was in total three Initiation doubles and in 1924 there was five double initiation ceremonies.

I am sure if W. Bro Weaver and I looked through all the declarations there would be not only many Initiation doubles but just as many double Passing’s and Raising’s.

Sadly, Albert the eldest brother passed away in 1936 at the young age of 48 having never reaching the Chair of King Solomon.  Horace too never made master’s Chair as his public duties were taking him in another direction. However, Harry, Lewis, and Edwin were installed as Masters of Russell.

  • Bro Harry Neate 1936-37
  • Bro Lewis Neat 1937-38
  • Bro Edwin Neate 1938–39

The Masonic Hospital Hammersmith

The Masonic Hospital Hammersmith

When Albert passed away on 24th April 1936, he was a patient in the new Royal Masonic Hospital Ravenscourt Park Hammersmith Middlesex probably arranged by his Brothers and lodge Almoner.

This hospital was originally formally known as the Chelsea Hospital for Women and by the end of the first world war treated over 4,000 servicemen.

In 1920 it was opened as the Freemasons Hospital and Nursing home but quickly outgrew the premises, the hospital was re-built and opened by King George V and Queen Mary in 1933 and renamed the Royal Masonic Hospital.


The Neate Brothers Wholesale Confectioners & Tobacconists

It is not known exactly when the brothers started the business in Bedford, but Horace had on his military record that in 1919 he was a confectioner. Records give no clue as to why they went into this type of business, but they did, and Wholesale Confectionary and Tabacos was there vision. Initially the business was run from the Pavilion in Bedford park and was probably the idea of Horace and Edwin although Harry became Managing Director. During the early 1930’s the Brothers moved the business to 52 Tavistock street (now the Magna Tandoori Restaurant) in Bedford.

Neate Brothers

The Public duties & Interests

Horace Richard (1891- 1966) C.B.E, D.L was Mayor of Bedford from 1933 to 1935. Interestingly records show he was invited to open in Newnham baths and swimming gala in June 1936. In 1952 was nominated for Sheriff in the Queen’s bench division of the high court of justice and by the ancient custom of pricking was appointed in 1955. The role of High Sheriff is a ceremonial officer providing administrative services to supreme and provincial courts. Horace was on the Bedford Town Council from 1928 and on Beds CC from 1931, Alderman 1934 -46. A busy man and understandable why Horace never went into the chair in Russell lodge.



Albert Henry (1888 – 1936) was a very keen cricketer and regularly was an umpire around the county particularly at the Igranic works Cricket ground in Cemetery Road Kempston.

Lewis William (1893 – 1961) became a Special Constable in 1939.

Harry Harrison (1896 – 1951) was very much involved in the family business and was at one time a Councillor in Bedford and Alderman.

Edwin John (1900 – 1955) Crowded Church at Funeral Service

Requiescant in Pace.


Russell Lodge Past Ma



The Russell Lodge original crest as shown on the summons at the Consecration meeting held at Newnham Rooms, Bedford on

Friday, March 31st, 1922.


Consecration by The Most Worshipful the Lord Ampthill, Pro. Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England & Provincial Grand Master of Bedfordshire.                      


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