End of Year Reminiscences . . .

When I was a small boy, just turned six a few days before, King George VI made his usual Christmas broadcast in Christmas Day – a tradition which, I am glad to say, continues. The war had been going since 3 September. The Norway Campaign had come and gone, none too successfully, and it was pretty obvious even to a small but that we had to improve a great deal in order to meet the Germans on an even footing. Thus, the Kings’s quotation struck a chord with most people we knew, and it was subsequently available in printed form, with I think, the King’s signature and picture, and my parents had it framed and hanging in the hall for many years, during the war and after.

When my Father retired, after 40 years in the City of London, their house (and their neighbours houses) became subject to a compulsory purchase order*, and using the compensation they took themselves off to Ferring in Sussex, where they ended their lives. Presumably about then, the framed quotation got lost, or perhaps when their house at Ferring was subsequently sold after their deaths. Who can say ? But the quotation impressed me mightily as a boy growing up and I am sorry it disappeared after I had long since left home.

My Father started work in 1918 with ‘The Employers Limited Liability Assurance Corporation’ which eventually merged with he Commercial Union. There is very little about it on the web, but I found this under the Aviva Insurance Company listing legacy companies that have subsumed . . .

The Employers’ Liability Assurance Corporation was incorporated in October 1880 to offer employers’ liability and general accident insurance in the UK. It was the first company established to offer the former. Its chairman, Lord Claud Hamilton MP, insisted that they made employers work to prevent accidents by refusing to insure those it did not consider to be taking proper precautions. The company merged with the Northern Assurance Company in 1960 under a new holding company, the Northern and Employers Assurance Company Ltd. This was acquired by Commercial Union in 1968.

And, apropos of nothing in Particular, the Great Eastern Railway had a locomotive named “Lord Claude Hamilton“.

  • : The replacement for the demolished houses can be seen on Google Maps below . . .
Our house formerly stood at about where the left hand dwelling of this block stands.

About Ian

Retired Clergyman, and former RAF person. Lives in Kirkcudbright, SW Scotland. One wife. Two children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren scattered across UK, Europe and the USA. Long time member of the European Movement, and latterly of the Scottish National Party. ""Here's to us; who is as good as us? Damn few, and they're all dead"
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