W.Bro. Prof. Don Whitehead received this thought provoking email ;
9th February 2020
Dear Mr Whitehead
Thank you so much for getting back me again with regard to Fredrick Matthew Agar – my great-grandfather
I was aware his two sons were listed on the Howden War Memorial thank you but I was delighted to hear from you that their names were read out last Remembrance Day. I bought 2 British Legion wooden crosses and had both my Great Uncles names inscribed on them with a message from me to be displayed in the British Legion Field of Remembrance a couple of years ago. They are definitely not forgotten. 😀
Since our last communication I have found to my joy, a photograph! A wedding (one of his daughters) group photograph (labelled on the back) was found in a case in the loft by one of my cousins and so we now have a photo of Frederick, his wife and many of his children!
In case anyone is interested here is a timeline showing the ‘Life Events’ that hit my great-grandad around the time of his disappearing from your meetings.
Staff Changes: F.M. Agar, Stationmaster, Howden to be Stationmaster, Pocklington’. (From North East Railway magazine records held at the Railway museum at Darlington).
Frederick did not attend your October meeting
30th October 1917
His eldest son, Lieutenant Harold Edward Agar, died at Paschendale being shot in the head by a sniper. (From Princess Patricia’s Canadian soldier records)
Frederick did not attend your November meeting but your records show you sent a sympathy card. This was obviously for the loss of his eldest son Lieutenant Harold Edward Agar.
His youngest son, Private Cyril Cuthbert Agar is listed as missing in France during WW1. (From North East Railway magazine records held at the Railway museum at Darlington).
1st August 1918
His youngest son, Cyril Cuthbert, died in a Prisoner of War camp in Valenciennes, France (from. British Army Soldier effects)
6th October 1921 his wife, Margaret Weatherill, died at the age of 54
7th July 1922
Great-grandad retired and moved to live in York with his unmarried daughter.
St Cuthbert’s Lodge received his letter of resignation.
9th September 1941
Frederick died at the age of 84
As discussed wth you in my first reply I suspect the fact he was moved from Howden to Pocklington in October 1917 followed by the death of his eldest son at the end of that month contributed to his absence at your lodge in October & November 1917. As you know he was sadly ‘hit’ again the following year by the news that his youngest son, Private Cyril Cuthbert (was he named after your Lodge I wonder?) was missing in action and then a Prisoner of War followed by notification of his death on 1st August 1918. Losing his wife just 3 years later must have been very hard to bear. What a dreadfully hard and sad 5 years he suffered.
I feel it was such a shame/bad timing that he moved stations at the time he did as I am confident he would have received lots of support from your Lodge at such a sad and difficult time had he still been at Howden. 😥
I am surprised he didn’t join any other Lodge once he picked himself up but maybe he found it too hard. I don’t know. I have not found any record of him in any Lodge, be it Selby or York following his departure from St Cuthbert’s but I now understand from you I wouldn’t because he wouldn’t have been Worshipful Master again.
I have emailed the secretary of St Germain Lodge, thank you for sending me the information and link. If I hear back I will let you know one way or another. I am suspecting he didn’t, especially as he didn’t resign from St Cuthbert’s until 1923. But we will wait and see.
In case you would like a photo of him for your records, or even just out of interest, I attach it below. The photo was taken in October 1920 when Frederick was 64 years old. I can date it because I know of the date of marriage of his daughter.
Many thanks indeed for your interest and help in my research.