Royal London – The Wonderful “D” Division

I recently added a card to my postcard collection of Royal London Mutual Insurance Society’s “D” Division. Fortunately, it contains the names of all “D” Division staff in the photograph. Unfortunately, it is not dated or postmarked, and the framed certificate at the centre is unreadable. However, we know that the “Chairman” at the time was George Smith and that the Division won two cups as well as the certificate. No ladies in the photo, sadly, and the men are in an assortment of dinner suits, black and white bow ties and ordinary ties.  Dinner is clearly about to be served.

The only writing on the back of the postcard is “With Compliments.”

A clue to the date might be discernible from another card I bought some time ago. This card has a number of interesting features.  D Division now appears to be divided into Districts and this image is of District 8. Perhaps that is why there are only 10 men in this photo but at least we know it is 1915 and this time the Division won a cup and a rosebowl.  The words in the corner of the card are “Baumgart. (presumably the name of the photographer) London E”, suggesting that East London was District 8. Most interestingly the Superintendent sitting proudly in the centre is Geo Fennell. He looks very like the Fennell 5th along the back row in the first card.

In the final card, D Division District 8 have only managed to win one cup. Unfortunately, again, we have no date. But the District is now 14 strong. The Superintendent is now J B Burland, and the card is signed on the side by F H Gardner (presumably one of the men in the photo). There is no mention of either Burland or Gardner in the first photograph.  There is, however, a Garner in the first photo. Might that be a misspelling of Gardner? And the man in the front row with the cup immediately to his left looks suspiciously like Geo Fennell. So, might this be earlier than 1915?

All part of the fun I have with my postcard collection. If anyone knows the answers to any of my questions I would be delighted to hear from you.

Reg Brown – Chairman, Insurance Museum


Royal London – The Wonderful “D” Division

July 11th 2024

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