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The War Record of The Northern Assurance Co. Ltd.

FOREWORD I have been asked, as an old Director of the “ Northern,” to say a few words by way of preface to this record of the heroism and the sacrifice of those members of our Staff who fell in the Great War. I esteem it an honour to be allowed to take part in any tribute to their memory. The following pages show the numbers of our men who joined the forces, the losses they sustained and the distinctions they won. No one looking at these figures can fail to see that the war record of the “ Northern " is a very distinguished one. It could hardly be bettered. But mere figures and percentages do not tell the whole story. Britons of every class, of every calling, rushed to arms in unexampled numbers when our country, at a moment's notice, threw herself into the struggle for the defence of outraged right. The impulse was universal, and, speaking broadly, no class and no profession can claim superiority over its fellows in respect of eagerness to enlist. But the sacrifice involved in this prompt response to our country's call was necessarily very unequal. In no case probably was it greater than in that of many men of the middle class, living in comfortable homes, engaged in sedentary occupations, devoid, for the most part, of any previous military training. To the younger and stronger, to those who had been athletes or volunteers, the call to arms may often have com e as a glorious adventure. But many others went no less readily, though military service had in itself no attraction for them, from a simple sense of duty. — 5 —
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