The War Record of The Northern Assurance Co. Ltd.

And in a wonderfully short time, all of them, with rare exceptions, learned to face danger and endure hardship with the courage and constancy of old soldiers. And they contributed a most valuable element to the composition of our vast National Army. I have heard from many regular officers of all ranks how greatly the presence of a number of young men of education, of quick intelligence, among the new levies helped to accelerate the process of training, and promoted the cohesion and discipline of freshly formed units when they came to take the field. And that is true also of volunteers of the same class who served in the auxiliary forces of the Royal Navy. They have all deserved the gratitude of their fellow countrymen. Hut these pages are specially devoted to those of them who are counted among the “ unre­ turning brave.” “ O valiant hearts, who to your glory came Through dust of conflict and through battle flame ; Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved. Your memory hallowed in the land you loved.” “ Proudly you gathered, rank on rank to war, As who had heard God's message from a fa r; All yoti had hoped for, all you had, you gave To save mankind—yourselves you scorned to save.” “ To save mankind.” These gallant lives then were not wasted ; they were nobly spent—spent not only to avert ruin from their own country, but to preserve the whole world from a hateful tyranny. And their sacrifice was crowned by victory. It is such thoughts as these which can alone bring comfort to the hom es where their faces will no more he seen, and temper the regret of their surviving comrades. Sorrow for their loss is mitigated by pride in their achievement. — 6 — In every part of this land, in counties and cities, in schools and colleges, among associations of every kind, religious, professional and commercial, there is a movement on foot to comm emorate the men who have fallen in the War. The desire to honour “ the brave, who sink to rest “ By all their country's wishes b le st! ” is one of the oldest, as it is one of the soundest, instincts of civilised mankind. Forgetfulness of the gallant dead would be a sure sign of a decadent community. In this national act of commemoration we of the “ Northern” Company desire to take our modest part. We would not let the names of those of our members who have made the supreme sacrifice for their country sink into oblivion. 1 hey have placed us under an enduring obligation. They are dear to us. We hope, by this humble record of their gallantry, to give what little solace we can to those nearest and dearest to them who mourn their loss. We desire, in honouring their memory, to hold up a shining example to future generations. And there is one thing more to be said about such a memorial. It is not only a tribute to the dead ; it is a covenant taken by the living. If our action is sincere and heartfelt, we are giving a pledge to those who have fallen—a pledge to do all that in us lies to turn their sacrifice to the best account. As they died for their country we are more than ever bound to live for it. We come under a new obligation to put country before self. And in the years ahead of us there will be great scope for such unselfishness. The intense and pro­ longed strain of the War j s certain to be followed by a long reaction. We are only just beginning to feel some
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