Contemporary Templar images on a medieval shrine?

Contemporary images of the Knights Templar are rare, but are said to occur on the tomb of St Thomas of Cantilupe in Hereford Cathedral. Hereford Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Anglican Diocese of Hereford, England. Truth or myth?
Its most famous treasure is Mappa Mundi, a medieval map of the world created around 1300 by Richard of Holdingham. The site of the cathedral became a place of worship in the 8th century or earlier although the oldest part of the current building, the bishop's chapel, dates to the 11th century.
In the North transept is the tomb or substructure of the shrine of Thomas de Cantilupe (c 1218 - 25 August 1282). The structural part of St. Thomas’ shrine is different in design from any other of the great type which can be traced in England, excepting that of St. Frideswide at Oxford.  It is a long parallelogram, narrowing towards the foot, and built entirely of Purbeck marble.  It consists of two stages.

The lower division resembles a high tomb, around which is a series of fourteen cinquefoiled niches containing figures of knights in various attitudes, fully armed in chain mail with their feet resting on dragons and other monsters. Faces and shield heraldry were obliterated. But according to the Knights Templar of Wales and other popular sources, probably drawing on that, Cantilupe was Provincial Grand Master of the Templars in England. Based on that theory the figures are thought to represent Knights of that Order, forming a decoration to his shrine. However, independent sound sources such as or and more popular onses such as Wikipedia do not provide any support. 
On the other hand, the thesis of Melissa Julian-Jones (2015) from Cardiff University writes: "...Thomas seems to have been following Bernard of Clairvaux’s code for the Knights Templar which forbade them to kiss any woman including a female relative, and so in France, where Thomas had spent a great deal of his life, the kissing of female relatives by clerics was frowned upon. This idea of following the code of a miles Christi fits in well with Thomas’s noble background, and would explain the shift in his interaction with his female relations." Does smoke suggest fire? To be continued.
Text and illustrations from Wikipedia, and

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