Unknown Ceremonial Regalia – Can anyone help?

My sister and I have been trying to find out the meaning of our great grandfather’s ceremonial regalia.  We would love to know what club, trade council, or civic body John Bowker belonged to. Our mother (his granddaughter), has never known why he wore this uniform and it would be great to tell her.

John Bowker was born in 1868 in Skipton, and was a Master Tailor in Stockton-on-Tees, which included making the uniforms for officers. We do not have a date for the photograph, but we think he may have been about 65 years old, which brings it to 1933.

Any information about his regalia would be much appreciated.

Photograph and details courtesy of Mary Richardson.

25 thoughts on “Unknown Ceremonial Regalia – Can anyone help?

  1. The responders are correct, it’s the “knights of the golden Horn” an additional order attached to the RAOB so those who said Buffalos were correct. The KC on the gauntlet cuffs are not for Knights of Columbus but rather for Knight Commander, meaning he was in charge of the camp. The equivalent in regular masonry would be the Worshipful Master is in charge of the lodge.


    • Thank you for this DK, it is very interesting. So my Great-Grandfather would have been at the ‘top of the tree’ so to speak? You don’t think he was a ‘Worthy Director of Ceremonies’ then, as mentioned in one of the replies?


  2. Hi Mary,
    It looks like a Masonic regalia… years ago (and some still do) have there own branch of masonry ie. Tailors, solicitors, police, ect all linked to the main freemasonry movement.. a lot are all mixed together now.


  3. The number “6” on the apron confirms this as the regalia of the Knights of the Golden Horn.
    The Stockton branch of the KOGH was called the “Londonderry Encampment” and was the 6th of nearly 150 encampments to be established in the North of England. Encampment No. 6 was opened in Stockton on 4 January 1889.


  4. I believe that this regalia relates to the Knights of the Golden Horn. This organisation started off as a branch of the R.A.O.B. It established branches – or “encampments” as they were called, throughout County Durham in the early 1900s. Many of the original branches were subsequently wound up, and today only 14 encampments remain in the County. The initials of the organisation “KGH” can be seen interwoven at the top of the apron, and the hunting horn motif was another prominent symbol used by the organisation.


    • Thank you for this Cliff. This is proving to be a very interesting search to be on! We are getting a lot of valuable information for the family.


  5. In 1926 a group broke away from the Buffs to call themselves The Grand United Order of the Knights of the Golden Horn. It was conceived as an order of chivalry based on the knights of the first crusade and the Golden Horn was the area covering Constantinople.


  6. A friend suggests it is the regalia of a Masonic group known as the Knights Columbus hence the KC logos, but I’m still thinking of some regimental association with a 6th battalion of some sort?


  7. I tend to agree with it being Masonic or Buffaloes however the Bugle horn surrounding the letter 6 suggests some connection perhaps with a County Rifles regiment?


  8. I think the regalia is The Nights of the Golden Horn.
    The local lodge was just off the corner of Yarm Lane and Yarm Road next to the railway line.
    It was known as The Knights of the Golden Horn Club. It was demolished either the 1980s or 90s.
    The Association is similar to the Royal A O Buffaloes.(The Buffs)


    • I think you’re right Vaughan, just found a site on the internet about it. Seemed to be a Northern based Society, derived from the RAOB. 6 denotes the branch or ‘encampment’, which was the Londonderry encampment, based in Stockton (no doubt named after Lord Londonderry?). The website is http://www.guokgh.org.uk, gives quite a bit of history of the order.


    • Full title is Grand United Order of the Knights of the Golden Horn he is Knight Commander as in Chairman of No6 Londonderry Encampment meeting in the White Hart in Dovecot Street prior to opening club in 1966


      • Thanks very much Malcolm for this note. With seasonal demands I have only just looked here. Interesting to know this regalia is for the Knight Commander, and where he would have met. Now I must investigate as a chairman, what his duties would have been!


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