George Henri Bué

George Henri Bué (Bar) was a teacher, linguist and author of several linguistic instruction books as well as translations of several works, including his specialism, the works of Lewis Carroll.

Henri was the son of Jules Bué, the French lecturer at Magdalen College, and Radley, with whom Carroll was acquainted. Henri was born in 1843 and followed in his father’s footsteps and became a professor of French and German at S. Andrew’s, Bradfield between 1864-75, Senior French Master at Merchant Taylors’ (1875-90) and later Christ’s Hospital, Horsham, from 1890.

Carroll himself selected the Henri to translate Alice, and had considerable control over this publication. Illustrated by John Tenniel and published by Macmillan and Co in 1869, Henri’s was the first French translation of this famous work.

Father and son were both Freemasons.

He was an initiate of Alfred Lodge No 340 in Oxfordshire. He also helped found Eastes Lodge No 1965 as JW as well as being the Founding Inner Guard of Sir Thomas White Lodge. He was made a PGSB by Grand Lodge in 1887 and both Easter and Tommy Whites brethren subscribed to clothe him in his Grand Rank. He served on the Board of Benevolence under Grey’s presidency.

Henri also join Loge La France No 2060, and perhaps unsurprisingly was the author of the translation of the ritual that is still used today. He was the Founding H of the La France Chapter No 2060.

Henri became a naturalised British Citizen in 1894.

At the outbreak of the Great War Henri returned to his native France as a covert operative, his name later being listed in the MIC under the surname Bar operating in Solesmes. the entry is under “Agents 103a” on Page 17. Solesmes in in the Loire region, so significantly back from the Front, and what he did there is not clear. He was however awarded the British War Medal, the Polish Order of Polonia Restituta and both the French Legion of Honour and Order of Academic Palms. These are shown below (courtesy of Spink & Son)

He died in Sussex in 1928.

British War Medal; France, Legion of Honour; Poland, Order of Polonia Restituta; France, Order of Academic Palms, mounted as worn by Spink & Son