Starting in 1938, the summer solstice was celebrated at Stonehenge, initially inconspicuously. On the 21st of June in the aforementioned year, a mere five individuals made their appearance, attired in regular attire, and engaged in brief ceremonial practices, thereby evading media attention. The organization gained prominence when it became the sole Druid group to conduct rites in close proximity to the monument during the Second World War. This demonstrated their ability to attract attention and their skill in handling delicate situations.

In 1943, it conducted its documented wartime ceremony at a different time than the solstice to prevent the gathering of large crowds. Additionally, it was hosted at the Double Circle instead than at Stonehenge itself, as it had reestablished a significant friendship with the landowner, who was the heir of Lady Glenconner, which Reid had abandoned ten years before. On the morning of June 20th, a private ceremony took place, which was subsequently replicated before an audience of approximately thirty individuals two days later. It highlighted the importance of making efforts, following the conclusion of the war, to establish a new era characterized by beauty, wisdom, and universal love, in order to replace the prevailing cruelty and horror that had reached its peak in the global fight. By doing this, the AODH successfully achieved three objectives: it contradicted the essence of war as per Reid’s previous principles; it offered the prospect of a more prosperous world upon the restoration of peace; and it served as another compelling illustration of the British resolve to uphold their customary practices and traditions during the core of the conflict.

In 1946, following the conclusion of the war, the AODH enthusiastically commemorated the restoration of peace by conducting sunrise ceremonies at the Double Circle on June 21 and 23. At midday on the 23rd, a performance took place at Stonehenge for a duration of thirty minutes, with twelve participants who were attired in a solemn white robe. Iolo’s ceremony, derived from the Welsh Gorsedd, involved the ceremonial act of sheathing a sword to commemorate the conclusion of the world war. Iolo’s influence was particularly evident in the final part of the ceremony, where the ‘One Divine Spirit’ was invoked using the Welsh term ‘awen’. This term, well understood by both medieval and modern Welsh bards, denoted inspiration and was often associated with a divine origin. In accordance with the democratic nature of Smith’s edict, each individual in attendance subsequently donned a crown made of oak leaves. The monument custodian was impressed by the exemplary conduct of the participants.

Upon Reid’s demise several months subsequent, the Ancient Order of Druid Hermetists found itself in an advantageous position to adopt the original appellation of his order, namely ‘the Druid Universal Bond’, whilst Peacock exhibited a preference for utilizing its subsequent designation, the British Circle of the Universalist Church. Smith’s order emerged as the most apparent successor group to Reid’s original one, similar to its status in the 1920s. Promptly, it commenced its expansion at Stonehenge, providing four services from dawn to dusk on the 22nd of June, 1947. There were now sixteen participants, attracting a gathering of over forty spectators and a recording crew from national radio. In 1948, competition arose as the fraternal orders returned to Stonehenge after being absent during the war. This time, the emphasis was on the summer solstice. Two hundred individuals belonging to the Ancient Order of Druids, hailing from a Sussex lodge, conducted a performance.
In addition, a portion of the United Ancient Order made an appearance on the evening of the 21st. The Universal Bond faced the risk of being entirely eclipsed.

Evidently, this was of great importance to it, as it promptly made measures to seize and maintain the attention over the midsummer period. It secured a reservation for itself at the early hours of dawn and sunrise on 21 June, when the highest number of the general public and journalists would be in attendance. Additionally, it attracted a greater number of members, specifically thirty, and displayed more prominence. The Office of Works reluctantly consented to maintain the operation of Stonehenge throughout the night for the inaugural occasion, and Smith and his followers conducted a vigil at the site during the nocturnal hours, reciting songs and hymns. The media were notified that they were representing the reunification of the complete former order of George Watson MacGregor Reid, which had been dispersed for several years. The event was commemorated by resuming the traditional ceremonial attire worn during his time.

Once again, several individuals donned crimson hoods and purple robes, whilst Smith was attired in the unadorned white garment symbolizing purity and universal fraternity. He proceeded to administer communion, following Reid’s example. The individual and his associates additionally included other ritualistic components derived from the realm of ceremonial magic, particularly those employed by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

The compass’s four cardinal points were revered and assigned elemental correspondences. At the eastern side of the rituals, there was a prominent Druid with a red hood, symbolizing the element of air. To the south, there was a yellow-hooded Druid representing fire. To the west, there was a black-hooded Druid representing earth, and to the north, there was a grey-hooded Druid representing water. The outcome was highly successful, as the dawn rituals of the Universal Bond were meticulously documented by the national media, distinguishing them from those of other religious orders. The custodian was deeply impressed by the dignified nature of the ceremonies, and a gathering of two hundred individuals observed with a sense of reverence and attentiveness. At the conclusion, Smith expressed gratitude for its well-organized conduct. He and his companions reconvened for an additional ritual later in the day, prior to the arrival of the United Ancient Order.

The liturgy seamlessly integrated Christian and pagan motifs, simultaneously addressing the concept of a singular supreme deity and the material realm as under the authority of a sun deity and an earth deity. The concept of reincarnation was posited as the destiny of the human soul, and Iolo Morganwg was cited regarding the inherent egalitarianism of the human species. From that point onwards, Smith’s Universal Bond assumed a prominent role at the yearly assembly to observe the midsummer sunrise, and it evolved into the contemporary Druid order that garnered the highest level of public awareness.

The act of seeking attention in this manner can be interpreted as a response to factors beyond a mere perceived danger posed by the older Druid groups. The entity was confronted with a novel obstacle that was in close proximity to its own existence. Reid had a son named Robert, who actively supported him in his Druidic rituals during the 1920s. However, in the 1930s, Robert was disinherited. Robert maintained a strong commitment to his Druidry, becoming a member of Smith’s AODH and staying with it for the whole of the 1940s.

Nevertheless, he considered himself the legitimate successor of the previous leader, and his exclusion from his tangible and spiritual patrimony was evidently repugnant. The individual’s sense of pride in his family and inherent ambition were evident in his decision to hyphenate his surname with the one his father had adopted, resulting in the more refined form of ‘MacGregor-Reid’. The culmination of his emotions appears to have occurred subsequent to the demise of the elderly gentleman, aligning with the sentiments of erstwhile adherents of the latter who harbored either personal admiration for Robert or dissatisfaction with Smith’s governance, or both.

Robert’s perception of his position and the credibility of his cause were influenced by the fact that some of them were affiliated with the former Universal Bond lodge in Leamington Spa. This lodge was acknowledged by George Watson Reid as the first one to officially create and practice his religion. Consequently, it could assert its position as the highest tier of the organization, and several individuals inside it harbored resentment against the London membership’s overshadowing of it. During the winter solstice of 1946, a group of disillusioned former adherents of Reid convened in the residence of the eldest among them, located in Bristol, alongside a few recently formed allies. The Leamington group officially asserted its position as the Mother Lodge of the organization, so assuming a prominent role, and designated Robert MacGregor-Reid as the newly appointed leader of the Universal Bond.

In order to bolster its credibility, the organization unveiled a novel creation myth, asserting that it was established by John Toland himself during a gathering in London in 1717. As per the new mythology, a gathering of Druids selected Toland as the leader of a newly formed federated Druid organization, with the lodge currently located in Leamington being responsible for its administration. Since that point until 1946, the order has maintained a constant series of chiefs, with Robert being the most recent to be elected. The organization, which was officially established during the meeting in 1946, adopted the names previously assigned by Reid to his order: ‘An Druidh Uileach Braithreachas’ and ‘The British Circle of the Universal Bond’. In a deliberate attack on its competitors, it also introduced another, more impressive and uncomplicated concept: ‘The Druid Order’. It had demonstrated its audacity and ability to create historical fiction, which were equally impressive as Reid’s own.

The pace of the uprising remained sluggish, and in the subsequent year, Robert was entirely preoccupied with consolidating his power. The organization further solidified its identity in July 1948 by the issuance of its inaugural guidebook of ceremonies. In 1949, the structure was prepared to assume its position at Stonehenge. In May of that year, the organization officially announced its establishment to the Office of Works, asserting its status as the authentic embodiment of the Universal Bond. Furthermore, it claimed to maintain associations with various groups across North and South America, Scotland, Ireland, and northern Europe.

The request was made to obtain authorization for conducting three ceremonies at the monument, specifically at dawn, noon, and evening. However, as a means of accommodating its competitors, the request was made to schedule the ceremony in early July, strategically bypassing the midsummer time. The Office concurred, albeit with a stern directive that the rites in question must be concise and casual, and that a reduced admission fee could only be paid if the number of participants exceeded thirty.16 In November of the same year, Robert and his adherents reached a consensus to relocate their central administrative center from Leamington to London. This relocation would involve the establishment of a new Mother Lodge, overseen by a Grand Council responsible for governing the entire order.