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Newry Masonic Hall at Downshire Road in Newry is hosting a fascinating WW1 exhibition this weekend with a wealth of exhibits and information on lodge members who died in World War One.

The exhibition entitled Newry Freemasons' in WW1 continues tomorrow Saturday 28 June from 11.30am to 5.30pm.

Lodge members are also very happy to show people round their historic building, an opportunity you should not miss as it will give you an incredible insight into another facet of Newry life.

An exhibit at the WW1 Exhibition in Newry Masonic Hall. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
An exhibit at the WW1 Exhibition in Newry Masonic Hall. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

David Henry Ferris, born 1893  was a member of Francis Crossle Lodge 83. From Windsor Avenue in Newry David entered the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin before cutting short his studies, enlisting and serving as a Surgeon - Probationer in the Royal Navy. David died on HMS Broke and was buried at sea 1st June 1916.

A tin from Chrismas 1914. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
A tin from Chrismas 1914. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

John Knox a member of  Union Lodge 23 was born in 1886 at Tierkelly, Rathfriland and was employed as a pharmacutical chemist at Messrs S Connor and Son's of Newry. He joined the army in December 1915 and did terms at North Irish Horse at Antrim and Royal Irish Rifles. John was awarded the Military Cross in 1918 and during a short period of leave in September received his award from the King at Buckingham Palace.

A folding saw and other memorablia at the exhibition. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
A folding saw and other memorablia at the exhibition. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

Returning to his batillion shortly afterwards he was wounded in Belgium in October 1918 and died of his injuries later in the month.

Francis (Frank) Lee Cleland, William Boyd, Thomas Alexander Walsh Crozier and George Bostall Jenkinson Smyth were other lodge members based in Newry who died in the war and their stories are also illustrated in the exhibition.

Newry Masonic Hall. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Newry Masonic Hall. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

The exhibition contains many pieces from the everyday lives of the soldiers including bizarre items such as a folding saw and spikes used to injure horses. Bullets made into lighters, Certificates of Service, medals, postcards and much more are on display.

The exhibition is supported by the Heritage Fund from the National Lottery.

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