Long-serving Territorial and Norwich Union executive

A long-serving Territorial Army officer and senior Norwich Union executive, Major John Lawrie, has died aged 94.He commanded the guard of honour for the first visit of the 4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment's colonel-in-chief, Princess Margaret.

A long-serving Territorial Army officer and senior Norwich Union executive, Major John Lawrie, has died aged 94.

He commanded the guard of honour for the first visit of the 4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment's colonel-in-chief, Princess Margaret. She visited the Battalion at the Benacre estate, near Southwold, in June 1958.

John Gibson Lawrie was born in Leicester in 1915 into a family of hosiery manufacturers, which had moved down from the borders. He went to Norwich School and later joined insurance group, Commercial Union.

He joined the Territorial Army in 1936, and was commissioned in the Royal Artillery, serving in France and Germany, until he was demobbed. In 1947, he joined the 600 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Company as a captain and from 1951 commanded P battery until it was disbanded four years later. He joined Norwich Union Fire Assurance Society, now Aviva, in 1946 and was manager of the Yarmouth branch for about 14 years. Then in 1961, he was promoted to the Bournemouth branch and then finally, he retired from the Glasgow branch in 1976.


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Always keen on sport, and especially rugby, he had helped to reform the Lowestoft and Yarmouth Rugby Club after the war, and was a vice-chairman of Norfolk County Rugby Club.

After retiring from Norwich Union, he and his wife moved to Sheringham. He was president of Norfolk RFU in 1981 and was a long-serving member of the Masonic Lodge at Yarmouth.

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He leaves a widow, Mary, and four children, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at St Faith's Crematorium on Monday, February 15 (2.45pm).

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