The Orange Order had more members volunteer for military service in World War 1 than any other politico-religious organisation in the world. It is estimated that more than 200,000 Orangemen saw service in World War 1 including 80,000 from Canada alone. It is estimated that 3 out of every 10 Canadian soldiers who enlisted were members of the Orange Order.
Many Orange Lodges never reopened after the war due to the very high number of Lodge members who were killed. In addition to Orangemen from Great Britain and Canada, Orangemen from the United States, Australia, New Zealand and several smaller countries volunteered their services for King and Country.
The first Australian killed in World War 1 was Able Seaman William George Vincent. He was a member of Melbourne Loyal Orange Lodge No. 92.
The sacrifice of Orangemen was great as was their bravery. The resolve of those young men may be seen in the dying words of Brother Private F. Holt, 4th Kings Liverpool Regiment, (a member of Loyal Orange Lodge No. 782 in England) fatally wounded at Neuve Chapelle on April 14th, 1915 who told his comrades "I have done my duty to my King and Country and I have not forgotten the Orange obligation I took in 782".