Andrew Common

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For the 19th century English amateur astronomer, see Andrew Ainslie Common.
Andrew Common
Grave of Sir Andrew and Lady Common, Edmundbyers.jpg
The grave of Sir Andrew and Lady Common.
Edmundbyers, County Durham, England
Born (1889-03-31)31 March 1889
Sunderland, County Durham, England
Died 6 April 1953(1953-04-06) (aged 64)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Rank Second Lieutenant / Major
Unit 3rd Northumbrian (County of Durham) Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery
Battles/wars World War I
Awards DSO
Other work Ministry of War Transport (World War II)
Deputy Lieutenant of County Durham

Sir Lawrence Andrew Common DSO DL (31 March 1889 – 6 April 1953) was a British shipping director.[1][2][3][4]

Common was born in Sunderland, County Durham, the son of Francis James Common (1847–1903), an iron merchant from Darlington, and his wife, Annie Elizabeth (née Walford) of Banbury, Oxfordshire.[5] His aunt, Emma Jane Common, was the wife of the Nonconformist divine, Joseph Parker.

In 1911, he joined the Territorial Army as a second lieutenant in the 3rd Northumbrian (County of Durham) Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery retiring at the end of the war with the rank of Major and he was appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order in 1917 for his services during World War I.[6][7]

In the 1945 New Year Honours, Common was appointed a knight bachelor by George VI for his work with the Ministry of War Transport during World War II and knighted at Buckingham Palace in 1945.[8][9] He was also appointed a Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, for his services to her country during the war.[10]

In 1952, Common was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of County Durham and High Sheriff of that county in 1953, having previously been nominated in 1950 and 1952.[11][12][13][14]

In 1923, Common had married Bessie Reid Pollock (1895–1959), a daughter of Gilbert Reid Pollock (1865–?), an iron engineer from Neilston, Renfrewshire, and his wife, Annie (née Blackwell) of Hyde, Cheshire.[15][16][17][18] They had three children, Joyce A. (born 1924), Elizabeth A. (born 1926) and Gilbert A. (born 1930).[19][20]

Common died in 1953 and was buried in Edmundbyers, County Durham, near to his home, Hunter House on the banks of Derwent Reservoir. His wife was later interred with him upon her death in 1959.[2][3]


  1. ^ England & Wales Births Index 1899, June quarter, "Common, Laurence Andrew", Sunderland, volume 10, page 631
  2. ^ a b England & Wales Deaths Index 1953, June quarter, "Common, Lawrence A.", Northumberland West, volume 1b, page 394
  3. ^ a b Edmundbyers Monumental Inscriptions Archived 13 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ National Portrait Gallery
  5. ^ 1891 England Census, Class RG12, Piece 4134, Folio 68, Page 31
  6. ^ "no. 28585". The London Gazette. 27 February 1912. p. 1451. 
  7. ^ "no. 30111". The London Gazette. 1 June 1917. p. 1. 
  8. ^ "(Supplement) no. 36866". The London Gazette. 29 December 1944. p. 1. 
  9. ^ "no. 36943". The London Gazette. 16 February 1945. p. 943. 
  10. ^ "no. 38192". The London Gazette. 30 January 1948. p. 741. 
  11. ^ "no. 39069". The London Gazette. 17 November 1950. p. 5739. 
  12. ^ "no. 39634". The London Gazette. 29 September 1952. p. 4589. 
  13. ^ "no. 39700". The London Gazette. 21 November 1952. p. 6137. 
  14. ^ "no. 39798". The London Gazette. 13 March 1953. p. 1442. 
  15. ^ England & Wales Marriages Index 1923, June quarter, Sunderland, volume 10a, page 1352
  16. ^ England & Wales Births Index 1895, December quarter, "Pollock, Bessie Reid", Stockport, volume 8a, page 10
  17. ^ England & Wales Deaths Index 1959, September quarter, "Common, Bessie R.", Durham West, volume 1a, page 540
  18. ^ International Genealogical Index, Batch C115721, Dates 1855–1875, Source Call No. 6035516 Register
  19. ^ England & Wales Births Index 1926, March quarter, Sunderland, volume 10a, page 1202
  20. ^ England & Wales Births Index 1930, June quarter, Sunderland, volume 10a, page 1102
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Philip Pease
High Sheriff of Durham
Succeeded by
Thomas Summerson