By AKC Clive Warham O.M. Grand Scribe
Edited by SKC Neville Dart Grand Knight Commander (2023-24)
The Knights of the Golden Horn started life as an additional or higher order available to members of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes [R.A.O.B.]. The Order was founded in 1872 and for many years operated through Minor Lodges setting up their own Encampments, working unchallenged within the R.A.O.B., with its headquarters or head office in Hull. In 1880 a charter was applied for, to form No. 1 Erimus Encampment in Middlesbrough and from then on new Encampments were formed in Stockton – on – Tees, Darlington, West Hartlepool, Leeds and many other towns. Membership used to be restricted to those initiated into the R.A.O.B. however that is no longer the case. By 1888 it was the wish of the membership to admit and initiate gentlemen independently into the Order, that is without the R.A.O.B. membership qualification, this, of course, was refused by Hull. It was therefore decided at a general meeting of the Northern Encampments to sever links with Hull and the Grand United Order of the Knights of the Golden Horn was born. The Order continued to grow and soon covered all parts of England and even though it had severed its links with Hull, it remained as part of R.A.O.B. system until 1926 when it broke away completely. It was thought by many that the Order then just drifted off into obscurity, but this, however, was not the case and it has now been extant for 135 years, celebrating its Centenary in 1988. The Order will celebrate 100 years of being fully independent in 2026.
Members of the Order are styled as Comrades and meet in Camps under the command by a Knight Commander and Grand Marshall, assisted by other supporting officers. Minor Encampments are placed into Districts, which in turn are governed by the Grand Camp of the Order. Minor, Divisional and Grand Camps each have their own officers who are elected annually. There is no longer any R.A.O.B. qualification for membership, although many members are either Buffs or Freemasons. The Order consists of Six degrees: · Companion · Knight · Knight of the Shield · Sir Knight Counsellor (SKC) · Senior Sir Knight Counsellor (SSKC) . Arch Knight Counsellor (AKC). These degrees are conferred according to length of service and attendance. Minor Encampments can also award jewels for attendance & meritorious service to deserving members. Also, the Order of Merit of the GUOKGH, which is the highest honour that can be awarded by Grand Camp, for exceptional service to the Order. Each Camp meets either weekly, fortnightly or monthly although ceremonial events are only carried out when and where necessary. Great emphasis is placed on "harmony" at G.U.O.K.G.H. meetings, which is quite refreshing, as this social aspect of fraternal orders seems to be disappearing in many the other fraternal orders. At present (November 2023) there are 10 Encampments divided into four Districts. Half of our Camps are situated in the North East in Sunderland, Easington, Spennymoor and Middlesbrough. Those in London and the South include Milton Keynes, Chippenham, Lacock, Sheerness and Sutton in Surrey.The G.U.O.K.G.H. has not expired as an Order, on the contrary, it is re-emerging and expanding, and looking forward to the next 100 years in its history.