Horatio Childs, is listed on the 1871 census at age eight; implying he was born in 1863, or thereabouts. Horatio, the youngest of the five children of George and Mary Childs, had one sister and four elder brothers. The census records also show that Horatio’s father, George, was a police officer in London but was born and raised in Corscombe, Dorset a member of a family of agricultural workers. George Childs marries Mary in London in 1853.
Horatio’s baptism record (1869) shows the family residing in Liverpool Road, Southwark. The 1881 census records that the family has moved to Westmoreland Road and Horatio, aged 18, is a ‘Pupil School Teacher’.
Between 1885 and 1887, Horatio Childs was a student at Trinity College, Carmarthen. The college was, and still is, a teacher training college which is now part of the University of Wales. Trinity College was founded in 1848 to provide Welsh speaking teachers for the local schools. Trinity College was run by the Church of England, as Wales was predominantly Chapel, the college often attracted students from England who needed an economic education. In 1889 Horatio marries Jane Emma Humphris in the parish church in Camberwell.
The 1891 census records Horatio, his wife Jane, daughter Winifred and a domestic servant residing in Latchmere Road, Battersea. The next Census in 1901 records Horatio, wife Jane, daughter Winifred and servant residing in Stanford House, Stanford Road, Frien Barnet. Horatio’s daughter, Winifred, marries in 1913. The Childs family occupies this house at least until Horatio’s death in 1929. The 1911 census records Stanford House as a dwelling with seven rooms, a substantial building. Although Stanford Road still exists, there is a modern apartment block on the corner with Frien Barnet Road which now bears the name Stanford House. The rest of Stanford Road comprises conventional detached and semi-detached urban houses.
Horatio Childs had become a Freemason in 1896, by joining “Warrant Officers” lodge. The Warrant Officers lodge minutes indicate he completed the three basic masonic ceremonies but held no other office. Warrant Officers Lodge still exists and has recently celebrated a 125th anniversary.
The Carmarthen College Lodge, was formed by the alumni of Trinity College, Carmarthen. Horatio Childs was a founder member, and in 1913 became the Master of Carmarthen College Lodge. Horatio’s service in Carmarthen College lodge continued until 1921 when he was Treasurer of that Lodge. Carmarthen College Lodge was consecrated in 1908, and still exists.
The eulogy delivered at Horatio Child’s memorial service states that Carmarthen College was his first or “mother” Lodge, although this was believed to be correct by the author of the eulogy, this is now known to be not so. The petition for the creation of “Unity and Progress” shows “Warrant Officer” as Horatio’s mother lodge.
Unity and Progress Lodge was created, as an extension to the “old boys association” of the school of which Horatio Childs was headmaster. The original name of the lodge was intend to be “Saint Martins”, like the school, but because there were already other lodges with that name the school’s motto “Unity and Progress” was chosen instead. The correspondence and petition for the lodge show the name has been altered to read “Unity and Progress”. The petition is signed and dated December 1913 and correspondence from Horatio Childs and the major petitioners are from the same period.
Horatio Childs, as the founder and first Master of the Lodge, presided over the Lodge’s first year, he served in various offices in subsequent years; frequently standing in for absent members. Horatio’s took on the role of Director of Ceremonies (DC), for many years finally running the installation ceremony in September 1928; he died in Bournemouth 23rd March 1929. The May meeting of the Unity and Progress records his passing with a very thoughtful entry in the minutes.
The memorial service was held at Saint Martins in the Fields on 13th June 1929.