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Sunday, 15 November 2015

Introduction

Following the completion of extensive building works in the Northern Bank Head Office in Donegall Square West, the following important pieces of Northern Bank Heritage were re-installed in a new location on walls in the basement of the building:

The Great War & World War II – Roll of Honour / War Memorial – Belfast Banking Company & Northern Banking Company

These memorials, consisting of either Bronze plaques or pictorial posters feature those officials from each bank who served, went missing in action, died or were killed in either of the two conflicts. 

For those who may be unaware of the history of each bank, the Belfast Bank & the Northern Bank merged in 1970.   The Belfast Bank memorials were previously installed in their former Head Office in Waring Street prior to their removal and re-installation in the Donegall Square West building in 2000.   The Northern Bank memorials were re-installed at the same time.   They had been in storage since their removal from the old Victoria Street Head Office.   In 2000, Northern Bank took the opportunity to have the memorials re-dedicated by the Dean of Belfast, Dr Houston McKelvey at an event attended by war pensioners, officials and their families.

As it is many years since the memorials were in the public view, the opportunity is being taken now to catalogue the information thereon and make that information public.

In 1925, Northern Bank published a centenary volume (1824 to 1924) that listed in great detail the members of that Bank who had either served, went missing in action, died or were killed in the Great War.   As very few volumes of that book are currently in existence, this information has effectively been out of the public gaze since then. 

For the deceased staff of each bank, further information has been retrieved from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website.  Great War  data has also been enhanced by using information from the 1901 and 1911 Irish Census website and other free on-line databases.

There have been many conflicts since the end of World War II; Northern Ireland, Iraq & Afghanistan to name a few.   A number of Northern Bank staff have volunteered and have served in some of those locations. 

One official, who was in the forces, paid the supreme sacrifice and another two officials (civilian) were killed as a result of incidents during the Northern Ireland conflict.

Their names are no less important than those who fell during the World Wars.
Northern Bank – The Great War
99 officials volunteered for service
and
  1 Reservist was called up for service
of which
11 were killed in action

  3 were reported missing

  1 died on active service
  7 were rejected for military service


Belfast Bank – The Great War                  
93 officials volunteered for service
of which
16 were killed in action

1 was accidently killed on active service

1 was reported missing


Northern Bank – World War II
44 officials volunteered for service
of which
3 were killed in action

1 was reported missing


Belfast Bank – World War II
52 officials volunteered for service
of which
9 were killed in action


Northern Bank – Northern Ireland
Many volunteered for service
of which
1 was killed whilst off-duty
and
 2 civilian bank officials were killed


Northern Bank – Afghanistan
1 Territorial Army (TA) Reservist was called up for service



I trust that you will find the site both interesting and informative.

Thank you.

Gavin Bamford