Major Freeling Ross Lawrence DSO was the founding Inner Guard of the Old Wellingtonian Lodge.
Freeling and his brother Frederick were one of two pairs of brothers who founded the Lodge. They were both in the Beresford, and both went to Sandhurst.
Commissioned into the 14th (King’s) Hussars in 1894, known as the Emperor’s Chambermaids for their taking of King Joseph’s silver chamber pot at the battle of Vitoria in 1813, Lawrence saw service in in the Niger Territories as part of the Illah and Siama Expeditions in 1898/9 during which he was Mentioned in Despatches and created a DSO. He served in the South African War as Regimental Adjutant and was present at the Relief of Ladysmith. Again ‘Mentioned’ in 1901, he is also mentioned in Lt Col Oatts’ history of the 14th Hussars for his rescue of Sgt Storer. He received the Queen’s Medal with nine clasps, and was promoted Brevet Major. He was Brigade Major, 2nd Cavalry Brigade in 1905, and appointed a General Staff Officer in 1913 for the 9th Division, Secunderabad.
He died on 9 March 1914, at Netley Hospital.
He was initiated in to Newcastle Lodge No 2097 in Natal, a function of his military career. On the petition he stated that he was a subscribing member of Wellesley Lodge No 1899 in Crowthorne, of which he was a past master, Lindley Lodge No 3133 (in South Africa) and Aldershot Army & Navy Lodge No 1971. He was an active Berkshire mason, being a PPSGD.
This link to Berkshire and Wellesley Lodge and to Aldershot Army & Navy Lodge was a common association amongst the early brethren, and an unsurprising one given Wellington’s location and associations.