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Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Roll of Honour - July

Roll of Honour - July

It is with much sadness that the following bank officials died or were reported missing during either the Great War, World War II or the Northern Ireland Conflict.

01/07/1916 - Hamilton, John
01/07/1916 - Hewitt, William Arthur
01/07/1916 - Roberts, Hugh Stanley

16/07/1916 - Stewart, Eric Hilton

30/07/1916 - Watson, James

31/07/1917 - Furniss, James

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Hanna, Alexander (Lex)

Captain Alexander (Lex) Hanna
was born in Belfast on 15th December 1920.   The family lived in University Street, Belfast. He was of Church of Ireland faith.

On 1st May 1939 Hanna joined Northern Bank at Head Office.  In 1940 he was transferred to Windsor as Junior. 

He had joined the Territorial Army (Royal Regiment of Artillery) in 1938 and was ‘Called up on Active Service’ on 21st May 1941.   His unit was the 66th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment.   His rank and promotions as Lance Bombardier (unpaid), Lance Bombardier and Bombardier.   Further promotion came when he was gazetted from a cadet to be a 2nd Lieutenant on 4th June 1943 with Service Number 278219. 

Hanna was awarded the 1939-45 Star, the Italy Star, the Defence Medal and the War Medal for service during WWII. 

The picture below is of Hanna's actual miniature (dress) medal group (my thanks go to his daughter, Pauline for making them available).

See Medals awarded during WWII.
On 7th October 1946 he resumed duty with the Northern Bank at Head Office. Transfers followed to Ball’s Branch (1946), Head Office (1948), Ballymena (1948), Newtownbutler (1951), O’Connell Street (1955), Head Office (1964), Keady (1966) and Armagh (1969).

Northern Banking Company, Ballymena

On 16th April 1948 he was awarded a commission in the Territorial Army (TA). He was gazetted to be a Captain from 24th May 1948. Later he was placed on the TA Reserve of Officers on 21st May 1953.
Hanna retired as Manager of Armagh branch in 1983.

First published on 12th November 2012.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Roll of Honour - June

Roll of Honour - June

It is with much sadness that the following bank officials died or were reported missing during either the Great War, World War II or the Northern Ireland Conflict.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Thompson, Jackson Holmes

Sergeant Jackson Holmes Thompson
was born on 5th August 1904.

He was the son of Robert Thompson and Martha Walker Thompson.  In 1911 the family were living in house 149, Castlewellan, Co. Down.  Robert Thompson records his occupation as a Bank Manager. In 1901, Robert was a Cashier (Northern Bank) and living in Main Street, Bryansford, Co. Down.

On 1st April 1922 Jackson Thompson joined Northern Bank at Head Office.  His address is recorded as Northern Bank, Downpatrick.  He was of Church of Ireland faith.  

Transfers followed to Larne (1922), Downpatrick (1924), Head Office – Relief Staff (1924), Head Office – Foreign (1925), Portrush (1928), Head Office (1928), Antrim (1929), Windsor (1930) and Londonderry (1937).  

In 1939 the Bank gave him permission to join the 9th Anti-Aircraft Regiment, 3rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade, Royal Artillery.  On 2nd September he was ‘Called up on Active Service’ as a Gunner with promotions to Lance Sergeant and Sergeant following.  

He resumed duty with the Northern Bank at Head Office on 1st October 1945.  Transfers followed to Connswater (1945), Donegall Square (1951), Willowfield (1958) and High Street (1961).  

J H Thomson (sp) is mentioned in this newspaper article from 1966 re the opening of a new branch at 10 High Street, Belfast.

Thompson retired on 31st March 1967.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Stronge, James Desmond

Major James Desmond Stronge TD
was born on 25th September 1918.  His family were of Presbyterian faith.

He was educated in part at the Masonic School, Dublin.

On 7th April 1937 Stronge joined Northern Bank at Head Office.  His address at that time was 72 Deramore Avenue, Belfast.

Transfers followed to Lurgan (1937), Head Office (1941), Falls Road (1941), Carrickfergus (1941) and Head Office (1942).

Stronge was ‘Called up on Active Service’ on 2nd March 1943.  His rank and promotions are recorded as Gunner, Cadet, 2nd Lieutenant and Captain, Royal Irish Fusiliers with Service Number 327769.

He married Miss A E Quinn of Boyaghan, Irvinestown in November 1945.

On 10th February 1947 Stronge resumed duty with the Northern Bank at Head Office.  Transfers followed to Donegall Square – Relief Staff (1947), Newtownstewart (1953) and Portadown (1966).

Northern Banking Company, Donegall Square

Stronge carried on his army career in the Territorial Army (TA).  In 1958 he is recorded as being the second-in-command of the 5th Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers with the rank of Major.

He received the Territorial Decoration (TD) in 1961.

Stronge is commemorated on the Masonic School Roll of Honour:

First published on 12th November 2012.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Irvine, Walter Frederick - WWII Service

Major Walter Frederick Irvine MBE

was born on 2nd June 1898.

Irvine joined Belfast Banking Company on 21st September 1914.

Following demobilisation from the Great War, Irvine returned to work for Belfast Bank.

See the Belfast Banking Company WWI section for his early career.

Irvine, Walter Frederick - Great War

As Irvine was a Lisburn resident, it is possible that he attended this service at the Lisburn War Memorial (temporary wooden one).

Over 110 members of the Lisburn British Legion branch attended the annual Remembrance Service in First Lisburn Church on Sunday, 13th November 1938.  Assembling at their Headquarters in Sackville Street, the ex-Servicemen were under the command of Captain W F Irvine, chairman.

Irvine saw service again in WWII as a Captain in the Royal Ulster Rifles before transferring to the Royal Irish Fusiliers on 30th April 1941.  On 20th July 1942, he transferred to the Pioneer Corps.  On 16th June 1945, Irvine relinquished his commission on grounds of disability.  He was then granted the honorary rank of Major.

Following his demobilisation after WWII, Irvine returned to work eventually ending up working in Accountants Department. He also worked in Central branch.

Retirement came on 1st December 1959.  He was appointed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).

He died on 14th February 1984. 

Irvine is the only official to have served in both wars.

First published on 12th November 2012.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Roll of Honour - May

Roll of Honour - May

It is with much sadness that the following bank officials died or were reported missing during either the Great War, World War II or the Northern Ireland Conflict.

07/05/1916 - Curran, Herbert

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Nelson, Gerald Eric Pat Hartfell

Ordinary Seaman Gerald Eric Pat Hartfell Nelson
was born on 24th February 1919 of Carrowreagh, Dundonald.

His father was Eric Hartfell Nelson (15 - 1901 Irish Census living in house 10 Marlboro Park, Belfast).  His mother ws Mary Frances (Florence) Nelson (nee Watson).

The family were of Church of Ireland faith.

Eric Nelson (father) appears to be mentioned in the Belfast Gazette of 30th September 1927 in an item regarding the "Estate of William Herbert Nelson and Eric Hartfell Nelson, Trustees of the Will of Horatio Nelson Dceased."

On 1st April 1937 Nelson joined Northern Bank at Head Office.  Transfers follow to Newtownstewart, Head Office, Coleraine and Head Office.

On 6th March 1941, Nelson was ‘Called up on Active Service’ on 16th February 1943 into the Royal Navy as a Rating.   However, on 21st June 1943 he was discharged from the Royal Navy owing to ill-health.

On 11th September 1944 he resumed duty with the Northern Bank at Head Office.  Transfers followed to Connswater (1944), Windsor (1946), Head Office (1951), Banbridge (1952), Claudy (1953), Head Office (1956), Portaferry (1956), Willowfield (1959), Crumlin Road (1963) and Windsor (1967).

[Northern Banking Company, Banbridge branch - 1906 by William Ferguson]

The Campbell College Register of Lennon Wylie records Nelson, Gerald Eric Pat (D), b. 24th February, 1919, son of E. H. Nelson, Old Comber Road, Dundonald, Belfast. V, July, 1936. Northern Bank Official. 1939-45 War: R.N. Address: Ardmore, Saintfield Road, Belfast. (M.)

Acknowledgements to lennonwylie.

'The Campbell College War Record 1939 - 1945' records Nelson as serving in the Royal Navy as an Ordinary Seaman.

Nelson retired on 31st March 1982 from Windsor branch.

The Staff Magazine ‘The Link (Summer 1982)’ contains an article and photograph of Nelson.

First published on 12th November 2012.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Neill, Sidney Kirk

Lt Col Sidney Kirk Neill O.B.E.
was probably born around 1920.

He was the son of Francis Seymour Neill and Matilda Millar Neill of house 3, Chester Avenue, Templecorran, Whitehead (Tea buyer).  The house was known as 'Chesterfield'.  The 1911 Irish Census also records two brothers: Francis Robert (born circa 1903) and Joseph McFerran Neill (born circa 1906). 

Sidney probably joined the Belfast Banking Company around 1938 / 1939.  He served in Head Office, 2 Waring Street, Belfast.

Following the outbreak of war, Sidney Neill joined the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC).
The London Gazette (1941) records a Captain (temporary Major) S K Neill with Service Number 107098.

The London Gazette (18th February 1943) records Major (Temp Lt Col) S K Neill as being appointed to be Additional Officer of the Military Division of the said Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Francis Robert Neill is recorded by Belfast City Council as being buried in Roselawn Cemetery.  He was aged 67 when he died on 18th December 1969 and pre-deceased his wife, Evelyn Constance Kathleen Neill who died on 21st September 1991.  Francis' address was Flat C, 33 Windsor Park, Belfast.

Update 14th April 2016

Can anyone help with this query received today.  Email me at
Good afternoon,
I recently came across your website and found an entry for Lt Col S K Neill. ........  My father served under Col Neill in the Western Desert and at Tobruk.  Dad was an Ammunition Examiner and obviously impressed Col Neill who mentioned him several times in the War Diaries for Tobruk and wrote a very complimentary Testimonial for him after he was invalided out of the Army.  As I am now attempting to write an account of Dad’s military career, I am endeavouring to find sources of information and would like to find out if Col Neill kept a private Diary.
First published on 12th November 2012.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Anderson, Paris Newton

Lieutenant Paris Newton Anderson
was born on 13th January 1920.

He was the son of A Newton Anderson of ‘Gezina’, 35 Downshire Road, Cregagh, Belfast.

The family were of Church of Ireland faith. 

Education was at Campbell College.  The LennonWylie website reports:

2585. *Anderson, Paris Newton (D), b. 13th January, 1920, son of A. Newton Anderson (239), Gezina, Downshire Road, Cregagh, Belfast.  L.VI, July, 1937.   Shaftesbury House Tutorial College, 1937-38; Q.U.B.: 1947-54. 1940-47: Lieut. (S), R.N.V.R.   Assistant Secretary to the Queen's University of Belfast. Address: 42 Bristow Park, Upper Malone, Belfast. (M.q.)

Anderson joined Northern Bank on 1st May 1939 at Head Office.  
Anderson later joined the Royal Navy Executing Branch and was called up on 26th August 1940 attaining the ranks of Temporary Pay Sub Lieutenant (RNVR) and then a Paymaster Lieutenant (RNVR). 
On 28th April 1947, he resumed duty from Active Service in Head Office.  A transfer to Donegall Square on Relief duty followed. 

Northern Banking Company, Donegall Square

Anderson resigned in 1947 to become the Assistant Secretary, Queen’s University, Belfast.

An election website records the following family members:

Commander Albert Wesley Anderson, son of Robert Newton Anderson (see below).  Born in Londonderry, 23rd July 1907.  Educated at Foyle College, Rydal School, and Nottingham University. Company Director. Commander in the Royal Navy during the Second World War.  Member of Londonderry City Council until 1969.  Lord Mayor of Londonderry (and ex officio Member of the Senate) from 1963 to 1968.  An Ulster Unionist member.  Member for City of Londonderry from the byelection of 16th May 1968 until the prorogation of the Parliament in 1972.  Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs from 26th October 1971 until 1972.  Died 1981.

Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Newton Anderson, director of a hosiery manufacturer.  Born 8th December 1871. Educated privately, and at Foyle College.  Member of Londonderry City Council.  Lord Mayor of Londonderry from 1915 to 1919.  Deputy Lieutenant for County Londonderry.  Member of the Irish Convention from 1917 to 1918. KBE 1918.  Member of Derry Bridge Commissioners.  An Ulster Unionist member.  Sat for Londonderry from the 1921 general election until the 1929 general
election, when he retired. PC (NI) 1927. Died 1937.

First published on 12th November 2012.