Employees honoured

Staff of Aviva constituent companies decorated for their actions during the 1939-1945 war.

Visit our list of employees who received medals and honours. If you have additional information on any of the men or women listed or any we have omitted please let us know.

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Displaying results 1 to 10 of 19 Page 1 of 2

Barrow, Gerald E

Head Office, London
The Northern Assurance Company Ltd

Rank Captain
Medal or honour MBE
Additional information

Member of life department.

Citation states "On arrival at the gate he was ordered to halt by a Jew who pointed a pistol at him. Captain Barrow was himself unarmed but he made a dive for the Jew's pistol and succeeded in seizing hold of it as the Jew fired. The bullet went past Captain Barrow's leg and another armed Jew tried to fire at him.

"Captain Barrow managed to hold the first Jew between himself and the second until a lorry with a number of other Jews came up and opened fire. Captain Barrow then jumped behind a civilian taxi and as the lorry drove off, he got into the taxi and followed the lorry despite the fact that he was fired on from the back of the lorry and from a neighbouring orange grove.

"Captain Barrow, despite being completely unarmed, showed great courage and devotion to duty by doing all in his power to follow the terrorists, despite considerable fire from two directions. By his actions he delayed the escape of the terrorists for very valuable minutes."

Batty, Walter

Auckland, New Zealand
Norwich Union Life Insurance Society

Rank Sergeant
Medal or honour Distinguished Conduct Medal
Additional information
Walter Batty

Played rugby for the New Zealand All Blacks 1928 - 1931.

"Sergeant Batty was at Bel Hamid on the morning of 1 December, when troops and artillery were forming up to be lead to a new position. Sergeant Batty, with a gun and a tractor, had nearly reached his post when he was subjected to a hail of tank shells.

"Single handed, he engaged eight tanks at long range. Now the rest of the troops were ready for action, but the tanks not relishing the fate of their leader, made off. The prompt and determined action by Sergeant Batty in accepting battle single handed undoubtedly saved the troop, who were reforming and unable to accept tank attack from that particular quarter."

For further information about Walter playing for the All Blacks visit www.oceaniarugby.com.

  • Photo supplied by New Zealand Rugby Museum.

Bennett, D F

The Northern Assurance Company Ltd

Rank Major
Medal or honour Military Cross
Additional information

Decorated by Autumn 1945.

Bennett, S L

The Northern Assurance Company Ltd

Rank Flying Officer
Regiment RAF
Medal or honour Distinguished Flying Cross
Additional information

Decorated c 1945.

Benwell, E M (Mrs)

General Accident Fire & Life Assurance Corporation Ltd

Rank Sergeant
Regiment ATS
Medal or honour Certificate of Good service
Additional information

Former member of Guildford sub office. Volunteered for ATS in 1939.

Certificate awarded by Lieutenet-General Schreiber.

Berwind, John S jnr.

United States
Potomac Insurance Company of the District of Columbia

Rank 1st Lieutenant
Regiment US Army, US Air Force
Medal or honour Distinguished Flying Cross, 4 Air Medals

Binnie, Andrew John

British General Insurance Company Ltd

Rank Lance Sergeant
Regiment Royal Army Service Corps
Medal or honour British Empire Medal
Additional information

Gazetted 2 August 1945.

Bird, Peter Cyril Lewis

North British & Mercantile Insurance Company Ltd

Rank Flight Sergeant
Regiment RAF, 199 Squadron
Medal or honour Distinguished Flying Medal
Additional information

Distinguished Flying Medal gazetted 8 June 1943.

"For outstanding courage and skill in air raids over Germany in which he has set a magnificent example to others."

Returned to company service eventually retiring in 1980 as property underwriter at Commercial Union Exeter branch.

Birkenshaw, J W

North British & Mercantile Insurance Company Ltd

Medal or honour Military Medal

Bishop, Francis Robin (known as Bob or Robin)

Norwich Union Life Insurance Society

Rank Captain
Regiment Royal Artillery, 154th (Leicester Yeomanry) Field Regiment
Medal or honour Military Cross
Additional information
F R Bishop

Entered company service 1937 as a junior clerk in the Birmingham office.

Played hockey for the company.

Decorated for actions while serving in Italy in 1945, "for courage and resourcefulness over a long period of determined assaults on stubbornly held positions ideally suited for defence." 

Military Cross was Gazetted 13 December 1945 and full citation reads "Captain Bishop has commanded A Troop, P Battery, 145 (Leicester Yeomanry) Field Regiment, RA for the past year. During this time he has been almost continually in action as a field observation officer or observation post officer in support of the first Battalion Durham Light Infantry. His courage, cheerfulness and resource have been outstanding and he has enjoyed the fullest confidence both of his battery commander and of the officers of the battalion.

"He acted as F.O.O. in a hard night attack by the first Battalion DLI on the to the Quarada feature, just north of the river Senio on 15 December, 1944, controlling fire and sending back valuable information in spite of almost continuous mortar and shellfire. When the river Senio was reached he occupied the most forward position in the sector at Tebano and between 22 December 1944 and 2 January 1945 carried out excellent shoots on to enemy houses and defences from it.

"Throughout the winter months he was continually manning observation posts on the hills and mountains where weather conditions were extremely bad. In spite of this, his work and enthusiasm never slackened. Finally he was with the DLI in the attacks across the rivers Sillaro and Quarderno from 16 to 20 April 1945, where, by his courage and experience, he was able to give valuable support."

Also mentioned in dispatches.

Eventually retired after 40 years service ending as manager for Newcastle branch.