Gilbert Stuart Martin Insall was born in Paris on the 14th of May 1894, the son of Gilbert Jenkins Insall and his wife Mary Stuart. He was educated in Paris. and at the age of 21 joined the Army in the University and public Schools Brigade of the Royal Fusiliers. He joined the Royal flying Corps in March 1915, and was posted to the Western Front in July of that year. The story of how he was awarded the Victoria Cross is as Follows.

He was patrolling in a Vickers Fighter with First Class Air Mechanic T. H. Donald as his gunner when a German machine was sighted, pursued and attacked. The German machine led Insall over a German rocket battery, but with great skill Lieut. Insall dived and got to close range, when Donald fired a drum of cartridges into the German machine, disabling the engine. The German pilot then dived through cloud followed by Lieut. Insall. Donald again opened fire, and the German machine was brought down in a ploughed field. On seeing the German crew scramble out of their machine and prepare to open fire, Lieut. Insall dived to 500 feet, thus enabling Donald to open fire on them yet again. The German crew then fled, one helping the other who appeared to have been wounded. Other Germans then opened fire on Lieut. Insall, but in spite of this he turned again and managed to drop an incendiary bomb on the German machine, which was last seen wreathed in smoke. Lieutenant Insall then turned west and headed for the German trenches, but as he was only at 2000 feet, he dived across them for greater speed, Donald firing into the German trenches as they passed over them. However, the German fire had damaged the petrol tank, and with great coolness Lieut. Insall landed under cover of a wood 500 yards inside the British lines. The Germans fired some 150 shells at the aircraft but without causing it any damage, however small arms fire had damaged the aircraft but this was repaired overnight behind screened lights. At dawn the following day Lieut. Insall flew the aircraft home with Donald as his passenger. It was for this action that Lieut. Insall was awarded the Victoria Cross.

This was not the end of Lieut. Insall ’s exploits however. Later that year, on the 14th of December, he was on patrol and sighted a German machine and pursued it deep behind enemy lines. During the engagement his gunner, Corpl. Donald was shot in the leg and the petrol tank perforated by gunfire. After the German machine made off, he tried to return to his own lines but an anti - aircraft star shell exploded underneath the aircraft and a large fragment blew through the aircraft and hit Insall in the base of the spine. Although at times he lost consciousness he was able to land the aircraft but was captured immediately. He was operated on and the fragment removed. In the ensuing two years he escaped three times, the third attempt seeing him (along with two companions) walking 150 miles over a period of nine nights to cross into Holland. Two weeks later he was summoned to Buckingham palace to receive his award.

Lieutenant Insall went on to achieve the rank of Group Captain, Commanded Royal Air Force Uxbridge and served in the Second World War. Group Captain Insall V.C. died at Scrooby, Bawtry Yorkshire on the 17th February 1972