Companion of Honour Recipients

by Syl | created - 18 Jun 2014 | updated - 4 months ago | Public

Companion of Honour is one of Britain's highest honors even above Knighthood or Damehood. Only 65 living recipients of this Honour at a given time.

1. Winston Churchill

Writer | Matinee Theatre

Born in Blenheim Palace, the residence of his grandfather, the 7th Duke of Marlborough. His father was the Duke's third son, Lord Randolph Churchill. His mother, Jennie Jerome, was the daughter of an American financier.

After passing through famous English public schools such as Harrow, he went on ...

3. Hall Caine

Writer | The Eternal City

Novelist and dramatist Hall Caine, though largely forgotten now, was a hugely popular writer in the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. Born Thomas Henry Hall Caine on May 14, 1853, in Runcorn, Cheshire, England, his father was a Manx Man who moved to Liverpool, where he apprenticed as a ship's ...

4. Maggie Smith

Actress | Gosford Park

One of the world's most famous and distinguished actresses, Dame Maggie Smith was born Margaret Natalie Smith in Essex. Her Scottish mother, Margaret (Hutton), worked as a secretary, and her English father, Nathaniel Smith, was a teacher at Oxford University. Smith has been married twice: to actor ...

5. John Jowett

Writer | There Was a Young Lady

Author and character actor

7. Stanley Bruce

Writer | Give Me Action

Stanley Bruce was born on April 15, 1883 in St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as Stanley Melbourne Bruce. He was a writer, known for Give Me Action (1930). He was married to Ethel Dunlop Anderson. He died on August 25, 1967 in London, England.

9. Frederick Delius

Soundtrack | Crush

Is a good friend of Eric Fenby, who became his amanuensis from 1928 up to his death in 1934, when he was already blind and paralysed and therefore could no longer compose music by handwriting.

10. Margaret MacMillan

Writer | Paris 1919: Un traité pour la paix

Margaret MacMillan was born as Margaret Olwen MacMillan. She is a writer, known for Paris 1919: Un traité pour la paix (2009), Extraordinary Canadians (2011) and The Sunday Programme (1994).

12. Joseph Lyons

Glimpses of Australia

Joseph Lyons was born on September 15, 1879 in Stanley, Tasmania, Australia as Joseph Aloysius Lyons. He was married to Enid Burnell. He died on April 7, 1939 in Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

14. Nancy Astor

Self | Royal Cavalcade

Nancy Astor was born on May 19, 1879 in Danville, Virginia, USA as Nancy Witcher Langhorne. She was married to Waldorf Astor and Robert Gould Shaw II. She died on May 2, 1964 in Grimsthorpe Castle, Bourne, Lincolnshire, England.

18. Henry Wood

Soundtrack | Naked Britain

Henry Wood was born on March 3, 1869 in London, England as Henry Joseph Wood. He was married to Muriel Ellen Greatrex and Olga Michailoff. He died on August 19, 1944 in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England.

20. Clement Attlee

Self | Biography

Clement Attlee was one of Britain's most significant political figures. He was the leader of Britain's Labour Party from 1935-1955 and Deputy Prime Minister of the UK during the wartime coalition against Nazi Germany (1940-45). He won a landslide victory in the 1945 general election, defeating ...

21. H.D.G. Crerar

H.D.G. Crerar was born in 1888 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada as Henry Duncan Graham Crerar. He died on April 1, 1965 in Ottawa, Ontario.

22. Julian Amery

Self | The Complete Churchill

Julian Amery was born on March 27, 1919 in Chelsea, London, England as Harold Julian Amery. He was married to Catherine Macmillan. He died on September 3, 1996.

24. Hastings Ismay

Self | Friends of Mr. Churchill

Hastings Ismay was born on June 21, 1887 in Naini Tal, India as Hastings Lionel Ismay. He died on December 17, 1965 in Broadway, Worcestershire, England.

25. Archibald Hall

Archibald Hall was born on June 17, 1924 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He died on September 16, 2002 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England.

26. George Gibson

Self | The Glory of Their Times

George Gibson was born on July 22, 1880 in London, Ontario, Canada as George C. Gibson. He died on January 25, 1967 in London.

27. Vita Sackville-West

Writer | Vita and Virginia

Victoria Mary Sackville-West was born on 9th March 1892 at Knole in Kent, her family's ancestral home. Her family was both aristocratic, (they held the title of Earl of Dorset), and literary. Two of her ancestors, Thomas Sackville (1536-1608), and Charles Sackville (1638-1706) were distinguished ...

29. David Cecil

Self | An Evening with...

David Cecil was born on April 19, 1902 in Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, England as Edward Christian David Gascoyne-Cecil. He died on January 1, 1986 in Cranborne, Dorset, England.

30. Stafford Cripps

Self | The Balance

Stafford Cripps was born on April 24, 1889 in London as Richard Stafford Cripps. He was married to Isobel Swithinbank. He died on April 21, 1952 in Zurich, Switzerland.

31. Robert Gordon Menzies

Self | British Pathé News

Robert Gordon Menzies was born on December 20, 1894 in Jeparit, Victoria, Australia. He was married to Pattie Maie Menzies. He died on May 15, 1978 in Malvern, Melbourne, Victoria.

33. Herbert Morrison

Self | A Hundred Years Undergound

Herbert Morrison was born on January 3, 1888 in London, England as Herbert Stanley Morrison. He died on March 6, 1965.

34. E.M. Forster

Writer | A Room with a View

E.M. Forster was born on January 1, 1879 in London, England as Edward Morgan Forster. He was a writer, known for A Room with a View (1985), Howards End (1992) and The Machine Stops (2009). He died on June 7, 1970 in Coventry, Warwickshire, England.

35. Benjamin Britten

Soundtrack | Moonrise Kingdom

Benjamin Britten was born on November 22, 1913 in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England as Edward Benjamin Britten. He died on December 4, 1976 in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

37. R.A. Butler

Self | Reputations

R.A. Butler was born on December 9, 1902 in India as Richard Austen Butler. He was married to Sydney Elizabeth Courtauld. He died on March 8, 1982.

38. W. Somerset Maugham

Writer | Quartet

Popular British novelist, playwright, short-story writer and the highest-paid author in the world in the 1930s, Somerset Maugham graduated in 1897 from St. Thomas' Medical School and qualified as a doctor, but abandoned medicine after the success of his first novels and plays. During World War I he...

39. Henry Moore

Art_department | The Pythoness

Henry Moore was born on July 30, 1898 in Castleford, West Yorkshire, England as Henry Spencer Moore. He is known for his work on The Pythoness (1951), A Hundred Years Undergound (1963) and Masters of Modern Sculpture Part II: Beyond Cubism (1978). He was married to Irina Radetsky. He died on August...

41. Thomas Beecham

Soundtrack | Atonement

Thomas Beecham was born on April 29, 1879 in St. Helens, Merseyside, England. He was married to Shirley Hudson, Betty Humby-Beecham and Utica Celestia Welles. He died on March 8, 1961 in London, England.

43. Kenneth Clark

Writer | Civilisation

Kenneth Clark was born on July 13, 1903 in London, England as Kenneth Mackenzie Clark. He was a writer, known for Civilisation (1969), Carved in Ivory (1976) and Three Faces of France (1966). He was married to Nolwen de Janzé and Elizabeth Macgregor Martin. He died on May 21, 1983 in Hythe, Kent, ...

44. Tunku Abdul Rahman

Self | Pemasyhuran Kemerdekaan Tanah Melayu

Tunku Abdul Rahman was born on February 8, 1903 in Alor Setar, Kedah, British Malaya. He was married to Sharifah Rodziah binti Saiyid Alwi Barakbah. He died on December 6, 1990 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

48. Patrick Blackett

Self | The Brian Connell Interview

Patrick Blackett was born on November 18, 1897 in Kensington, London, England as Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett. He died on July 13, 1974 in London.

49. Emanuel Shinwell

Self | Scotland's Story

Emanuel Shinwell was born on October 18, 1884 in Spitalfields, London, England. He died on May 8, 1986.

50. Graham Greene

Writer | The Fallen Idol

Graham Greene was one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century and his influence on the cinema and theatre was enormous. He wrote five plays and almost all of his novels, including "Brighton Rock", "The Ministry of Fear" and "The End of the Affair", have been brought to the screen. A superb ...

51. Mortimer Wheeler

Self | Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?

Mortimer Wheeler was born on September 10, 1890 in Glasgow, Scotland as Robert Eric Mortimer Wheeler. He was married to Kim Norfolk (née Collingridge), Mavis Cole and Tessa Verney. He died on July 22, 1976 in Leatherhead, Surrey, England.

54. Harold Holt

Self | This Day Tonight

Harold Holt was born on August 5, 1908 in Stanmore, New South Wales, Australia as Harold Edward Holt. He died on December 17, 1967 in Portsea, Victoria, Australia.

55. Patrick Gordon Walker

Self | Panorama

Patrick Gordon Walker was born on April 7, 1907 in Worthing, Sussex, England as Patrick Chrestien Gordon Walker. He was married to Audrey Muriel Rudolf. He died on December 2, 1980 in London, England.

56. Adrian Boult

Music_department | Lawrence of Arabia

Adrian Boult was born on April 8, 1889 in Chester, Cheshire, England. He died on February 23, 1983 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England.

57. John McEwen

Self | Toki no hito

John McEwen was born on March 29, 1900 in Chiltern, Victoria, Australia. He was married to Mary Eileen Byrne and Anne Mills McLeod. He died on November 20, 1980 in Toorak, Melbourne, Victoria.

58. John Barbirolli

Soundtrack | Bronson

John Barbirolli was born on December 2, 1899 in Bloomsbury, London, England as Giovanni Battista Barbirolli. He was married to Evelyn Rothwell and Marjorie Parry. He died on July 29, 1970 in Marylebone, London.

59. A.P. Herbert

Writer | House by the River

English novelist and essayist Alan Patrick Herbert was born in London, England, in 1890. An Oxford graduate, he served in the Royal Navy in World War I and took part in the disastrous Gallipoli campaign in Turkey, which resulted in heavy casualties and a resounding defeat for the Allied forces. He ...

60. Kuan Yew Lee

Self | Fatal Reaction: Singapore

Kuan Yew Lee was born on September 16, 1923 in Singapore as Harry Lee Kuan Yew. He was married to Kwa Geok Choo. He died on March 23, 2015 in Outram, Singapore.

61. Frederick Ashton

Actor | Cinderella

The founding father of British ballet, he developed the "English style" of classical dancing. He saw Anna Pavlova dance in 1917, which inspired him to a lifetime in ballet. He studied in London with Léonide Massine and Marie Rambert. He joined the Vic-Wells ballet, which later became the Royal ...

62. Sybil Thorndike

Actress | The Prince and the Showgirl

This distinguished theatrical tragedienne will be remembered forever if only for the fact George Bernard Shaw wrote his classic "Saint Joan" work specifically for her. Her over six-decade career allowed for a gallery of sterling, masterful portrayals, both classic and contemporary, performing all ...

64. Arthur Bliss

Composer | Things to Come

Arthur Bliss was born on August 2, 1891 in London, England. He is known for his work on Things to Come (1936), Abandon Ship (1957) and Christopher Columbus (1949). He was married to Gertrude Hoffmann. He died on March 28, 1975 in London.

67. Jean Monnet

Self | Town Meeting of the World

Jean Monnet was born on November 9, 1888 in Cognac, Charente, France. He died on March 16, 1979 in Paris, France.

68. Arnold Goodman

Self | The Richard Dimbleby Lecture

Arnold Goodman was born on August 21, 1913 as Arnold Abraham Goodman. He died on May 12, 1995.

69. Herbert Howells

Self | Omnibus

Herbert Howells was born on October 17, 1892 in Lydney, Gloucestershire, England as Herbert Norman Howells. He died on February 23, 1983 in London, England.

70. John Piper

Writer | An Artist Looks at Churches

John Piper was born on December 13, 1903 in Epsom, Surrey, England as John Egerton Christmas Piper. He was a writer, known for An Artist Looks at Churches (1959), Crown of Glass (1967) and Moving Art (1991). He was married to Myfanwy Piper and Eilenn Holding. He died on June 28, 1992 in Fawley ...

71. Duncan Sandys

Self | This Week

Father of fellow politician Laura Sandys.

74. William Whitelaw

Self | Thatcher: The Downing Street Years

William Whitelaw was born on June 28, 1918 in Nairn, Scotland as William Stephen Ian Whitelaw. He was married to Celia Sprot. He died on July 1, 1999 in Penrith, Cumbria, England.

75. Quintin Hogg

Actor | Christian Forum

Quintin Hogg was born on October 9, 1907 in London, England as Quintin McGarel Hogg. He was an actor, known for Christian Forum (1954), Face Your Image (1974) and Camera Three (1955). He was married to Deirdre Shannon and Mary Martin. He died on October 11, 2001 in London.

78. John Diefenbaker

Self | One Canadian: The Political Memoirs of the Rt. Hon. John G. Diefenbaker

John George Diefenbaker was born in Neustadt, Ontario, to William Thomas Diefenbaker and Mary Florence Bannerman. He had one younger brother, Elmer Clive Diefenbaker. Throughout most of his early career, Diefenbaker served in the Canadian Army during World War I, but he left due to injuries. In ...

79. Frederick Elwyn Jones

Self | Forty Minutes

Frederick Elwyn Jones was born on October 24, 1909 in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales. He was married to Pearl Binder. He died on December 4, 1989 in Kemp Town, Brighton, Sussex, England.

81. Malcolm Fraser

Self | Stop the Boats

Malcolm Fraser was born on May 21, 1930 in Toorak, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as John Malcolm Fraser. He was married to Tamie Fraser. He died on March 20, 2015 in Victoria.

82. John Gielgud

Actor | Arthur

Born in London, England, John Gielgud trained at Lady Benson's Acting School and RADA, London. Best known for his Shakespearean roles in the theater, he first played Hamlet at the age of 26. He worked under the tutelage of Lilian Bayliss with friend and fellow performer Laurence Olivier and other ...

83. Barbara Wootton

Self | Women of Our Century

Barbara Wootton was born on April 14, 1897 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England as Barbara Frances Adam. She was married to George Wright and Jack Wootton. She died on July 11, 1988 in Nutfield, Surrey, England.

84. Denis Healey

Actor | The Wizard of Oz

Denis Healey was born on August 30, 1917 in Mottingham, Kent, England as Denis Winston Healey. He was an actor, known for The Wizard of Oz (1977), Denis Healey: The Best Prime Minister Labour Never Had? (2015) and Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV (1985). He was married to Edna Healey. He died on ...

85. Michael Tippett

Soundtrack | Akenfield

Michael Tippett was born on January 2, 1905 in London, England as Michael Kemp Tippett. He is known for his work on Akenfield (1974), The Midsummer Marriage (1984) and King Priam (1985). He died on January 9, 1998 in London.

89. Frederick Sanger

Self | Face to Face: Fred Sanger

Frederick Sanger was born on August 13, 1918 in Rendcomb, Gloucestershire, England. He was married to Margaret Joan Howe. He died on November 19, 2013 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England.

90. Ninette de Valois

Actress | The Female Swindler

It has been rightly suggested that Dame Ninette de Valois is one of the most important women of the century. It was due to her drive and ambition that the modern English ballet was created. In that respect she changed history single handed. Born in Ireland, young Ninette (her stage name was her ...

91. Peter Carrington

Self | Thatcher: The Downing Street Years

Lord Peter Carrington was born in 1919. He was educated at Eton and Sandhurst and was inducted into the House of Lords in 1940 as a hereditary peer. He served in World War II. After the war, he got active in politics, serving as a junior minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, then the Ministry of...

92. Lucian Freud

Self | Small Gestures in Bare Rooms

Lucian Freud was born on December 8, 1922 in Berlin, Germany as Lucian Michael Freud. He was married to Caroline Blackwood and Kathleen Garman Epstein. He died on July 20, 2011 in London, England.

93. Steven Runciman


Steven Runciman was born on July 7, 1903 as James Cochran Stevenson Runciman. He is known for his work on Mastermind (1972), Crusades (1995) and The Churchills (1996). He died on November 1, 2000.

94. Sacheverell Sitwell

Self | Edith Sitwell

Sacheverell Sitwell was born on November 15, 1897 in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England. He was married to Georgia Doble. He died on October 1, 1988 in Towcester, Northamptonshire, England.

95. Pierre Trudeau

Writer | Reason Over Passion

Pierre Trudeau was born Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau on October 18, 1919 in Montreal, Quebec. He was the son of Charles-Émile Trudeau and Grace Elliott. Trudeau had an older sister and a younger brother, Suzette and Charles Jr.

Trudeau's father died when Pierre was 15. After that, ...

96. Hugh Casson

Evil Under the Sun

Hugh Casson is known for his work on Evil Under the Sun (1982), A Hundred Years Old (1938) and ABC Weekend Specials (1977).

97. Philip Larkin

Writer | On the Margin

English poet. His father Sydney was City Treasurer of Coventry. Philip was educated at King Henry VIII School, Coventry. By the age of 16 he was already having poetry published in the school magazine, The Coventrian. In 1940 he went to St. John's College, Oxford, to study English. On graduating (...

98. Keith Joseph

Self | The London Programme

Keith Joseph was born on January 17, 1918 in London, England as Keith Sinjohn Joseph. He died on December 10, 1994 in London.

100. Peter Scott

Writer | Vanishing Wilderness

Peter Scott was born on September 14, 1909 in London, England as Peter Markham Scott. He was a writer, known for Vanishing Wilderness (1974), Look (1955) and Let's Go to the Zoo (1954). He was married to Phillipa Scott and Elizabeth Jane Howard. He died on August 29, 1989 in Bristol, England.

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