Edward John De Salis

Edward John De Salis was born in 1853 at Grahamstown, South Africa. He was the son of Major Rodolph Johannes Leslie Joseph Hibernicus De Salis and his wife Sarah née Blake. He married Margaret Augusta née Le Fargue in 1873 and they raised six sons and one daughter.

He was educated at Wellington College and Sandhurst Military College. At Wellington he was in the Hill, arriving in the Michelmas Term of 1864.

He was commissioned into the Control Department, the predecessor of the Army Service Corps, in 1871 and followed on to the Ordnance Department in 1876, where he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1892. The same year he joined the Naval Ordnance Department, serving until 1913. He was very unusual in having been attached both to the Army and Navy branches. He finally became Naval Ordnance Officer at Portsmouth and then at Chatham before his retirement in 1913.

He was the Honorary Secretary of St. John Ambulance from 1894 to 1898 and organised the Portsmouth St. John’s Ambulance Brigade and Nursing Corps. He was an Honorary Associate of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and was awarded the Diamond Jubilee Medal.

His masonry reflected his military postings: He was initiated in Aldershot Camp Lodge No 1331, Aldershot, Hampshire in 1875. He joined Atlantic Phoenix Lodge No 224, Loyalty Lodge No 258, and St George’s Lodge No 224 (IC), all in Bermuda; Eboracum Lodge No 1611, York; Cestrian Lodge No 425, Chester; Bulwer of Cairo Lodge No 1068, London and St Leonard’s Lodge No 1842, St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex, where he was installed as Worshipful Master in 1923. 

He was a Founder and first Worshipful Master of Agricola Lodge No 1991, York in 1883 and Ordnance Lodge No 2399, Woolwich, Kent in 1891. In 1909 he was a Founder of this, the Old Wellingtonian Lodge No 3404, London and in 1917 he became a Founder and first Secretary of Maguncor Lodge No 3806, London, serving as Worshipful Master in 1925. He was a Founder of Shorncliffe Lodge No 4330, Folkestone in 1921 and the Founding Secretary of St Michael’s Lodge No 4426, St Leonards-on-Sea the following year. He was a Past Provincial Grand Senior Warden of Lincolnshire and in 1921 he was appointed Assistant Grand Sword Bearer of the United Grand Lodge of England.

In Royal Arch he was exalted in Royal Victoria Chapter No 358, Bermuda in 1876. He joined Zetland Chapter No 234, York; Doric Chapter No 362, Grantham, Lincolnshire and Emulation Chapter No 40, St. Leonards-on-Sea. He was a Founder and Second Principal of St Leonard’s Chapter No 1842, St. Leonards-on-Sea in 1924 and Founder and First Principal of Maguncor Chapter No 3806, London in the same year. In Mark Masonry he was advanced in York Time Immemorial Lodge in 1878. He joined East Sussex Lodge, No. 166, St. Leonards-on-Sea and was installed as Worshipful Master in 1924. He was elevated in York Time Immemorial Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners. He joined the East Sussex Lodge, No. 166, St. Leonards-on-Sea and was installed as Worshipful Commander Noah in 1924.

He was installed as Knight Templar in Temple Bruer Preceptory No 143, Lincoln in 1917. The following year he joined Holy Sepulchre Preceptory No 174, St. Leonards-on-Sea. In the Ancient and Accepted Rite he was perfected in 1879 and was Founder and Most Wise Sovereign of Maguncor Chapter No 191, Grantham in 1918. He was awarded 30º and was a member of the Allied Masonic Degrees. He was a Life Governor of the three Masonic Institutions, Secretary of the Maguncor Masonic Benevolent Association and Charity Registrar and Collecting Steward for Maguncor Lodge and Chapter. He was a subscriber to the Masonic Million Memorial Fund.

He died aged seventy-six, at Hastings on 16 March 1929.