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Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Roll of Honour - December

Roll of Honour - December

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.

20/12/1973 - Fenton, Rodney

Unknown - Patterson, William - during the Great War 

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Neely, Noel Montgomery

Lieutenant (RN) Noel Montgomery Neely
was born at Sion Mills on 27th December 1910 to James Neely, Preparing Master and Margaret Neely nee Irwin. They had married on 9th April 1903.

In 1911 the family were living house 2, Sion Terrace, Attaclady, Co. Tyrone. In the Census return, his father describes Noel’s education as ‘cannot read’.
On 1st April 1927 Neely joined the Belfast Banking Company. His Bankers Guarantee was signed by Thomas McDonald of 'Iona', Castle Road, Dundalk and later by Alexander M Clark of 'Woodhouse', Ravenhill Road, Belfast (Tailor).

Bankers Guarantee ledger sheet

The Belfast Telegraph of 11th May 1927 reports that N M Neely entered the bank at Coleraine branch.

Belfast Bank, Coleraine branch

Noel would later play cricket for the bank and is reported in newspaper match reports.

The Belfast Telegraph of 18th May 1929 reports N M Neely as transferring from Castle Place to Head Office.

Belfast Bank, Castle Place branch

Belfast Bank, Head Office, Waring Street, Belfast

As well as playing cricket and rugby, Noel was an actor as reported by the Belfast News-Letter of 11th January 1936:

Noel volunteered and enlisted into the RNVR (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) probably around 1939/1940. 

The Forces War Record website records his career:

1941 - Temporary Lieutenant - HMS Waterfly
1942 - Lieutenant - HMS Waterfly
1944 - Lieutenant - HMS Circe
Noel Simpson, author of ‘The Belfast Bank 1827-1970’ records some detail of a letter from Noel Neely to the bank’s secretary, James Carlisle, describing his first few days of naval life:

"I have been rated seaman, which is one step up from the bottom, and am paid fortnightly at the rate of 21/- a week, starting from next month.  I believe service pay is to be raised by sixpence a day, but when that and any further betterment of my financial lot materialises I shall let the Bank know.

I may cut a very nautical figure in my bell-bottoms, but I find the whole garb too tight for comfort.  Added to that, there is a most miserly allowance of pockets – two only, and so placed that one looks like a lop-sided Mae West and a sufferer from acute hernia.  However, if this hot weather lasts I shall shrink so much that my clothes will fit perfectly!
At the moment I am awaiting draft, and drafting is, apparently, such a haphazard business that I may be sent off any day now.  I have been billeted with a most worthy soul, a local light in the Labour Party.  She is quite a good cook and, as she obviously regards me as a dyed-in-the-wool Tory, I can’t quite get rid of the uncomfortable feeling that I am being fattened as a capitalistic sacrifice.  If only the house possessed a bath I should be happy.  Squabbling about a kitchen sink with four other sailors is a bit trying.”

Having been promoted to Lieutenant (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve), he was serving on board HMS Circe, when he was killed on 23rd April 1944. 

HMS Circe - 1942
Noel is commemorated on Panel 79, Column 2 on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent, England.  
Noel left a widow, Joan and a daughter.  They had lived in Helen's Bay, Co. Down. 

Note: HMS Circe was an ‘Algerine Class’ Royal Navy Minesweeper (J214) built by Harland & Wolff Ltd in Belfast. It was ordered on 15th November 1940 and launched on 27th June 1942. Commissioned on 16th October 1942, the ship received Battle Honours in Sicily 1943, Salerno 1943 and Anzio 1944.
Following the end of the war, HMS Circe became an RNVR drill ship in 1956 before being scrapped at Dalmuir in December 1966.

Monday, 29 November 2021

Donaghy, Thomas Moffett

Sergeant Thomas Moffett Donaghy MM
was born at Main Street, Limavady on 13th February 1912 to James Donaghy, General Draper and Catherine Donaghy nee McCullagh.

The Northern Whig of 6th July 1929 reported that Thomas 'assisted the best man' at his sister Kathleen's wedding in Limavady.

On 2nd June 1930 he joined Northern Bank at Head Office. His address at that time was 6 Main Street, Limavady.

Transfers followed to Coleraine (1930 - Junior), Head Office (1930), Knock Sub-Office (1930), Maghera (1931), Oldcastle (1934), Head Office  (1938 - relief) and Grafton Street (1938 - relief).

Northern Bank, Head Office, Victoria Street

Northern Bank, Coleraine branch

Northern Bank, Maghera branch

Whilst in Maghera, the Belfast Telegraph of 15th May 1933 reported that Thomas had won a Special Prize for Neatness in the Final examinations of the Institute of Bankers in Ireland.

Northern bank, Oldcastle branch

Northern Bank, Grafton Street branch
On 9th January 1940 he joined the North Irish Horse and was ‘Called up’ on 16th January 1940. His rank on joining was Trooper (Driver mechanic). Promotions followed to Sergeant.

The Belfast Telegraph of 8th December 1944 reported that Thomas had been 'wounded for second time'. 

Thomas was awarded the Military Medal on 26th April 1945. The citation reads:

“On November 14th 1944, at map ref 418206 Sergeant Donaghy was Troop Leader of three tanks supporting A Company 6 Black Watch. His orders were to support A Company in clearing the houses on each side of the road and seizing the T junction 418206. At the junction several enemy tanks were known to be lying in wait. One anti-tank gun was known to be sited down the road which had not been swept for mines, and it was impossible to get off the road. A platoon of 6 Black Watch had managed to reach a house 200 yards short of the objective but were pinned down from Spandau fire from the enemy tanks. Sergeant Donaghy made a most gallant attempt to get to their assistance. The only way was straight up the road. As soon as he moved he came under high-explosive and armour-piercing fire from enemy tanks but continued up the road. Just before he reached the infantry his tank was hit and knocked out. Sergeant Donaghy was wounded by blast and splash in the face and could not see out of one eye. He refused to be evacuated and after dark sufficiently repaired his tank to enable it to be towed to a defensive position for the night. He accomplished this in spite of intense fixed line Spandau fire down the road. He manned his tank throughout the night and did not go to hospital until ordered to do so next day. Sergeant Donaghy’s grim determination at all costs to carry out his task of supporting the infantry and his success in carrying out this task in face of strong opposition and in spite of his own wounds, showed devotion to duty and personal courage which were quite beyond praise.” 

Military Medal (MM)

The Belfast Telegraph of 20th July 1945 reports that T M Donaghy has been 'mentioned in despatches' for 'gallant and distinguished service in Italy'.

The bank Staff Record sheet records that he sustained an eye injury and lost the sight of one eye during his war service.

On 4th February 1946 Thomas resumed service with the Northern Bank at Head Office. Transfers followed to Grafton Street (1946 - relief ), Head Office (1946- relief ), Head Office (1947), Lisburn (1948 - Relief), Head Office (1948), Claudy (1948 - Cashier), Larne (1952 - Cashier), Banbridge (1954 - Cashier), Head Office (1955) and Donegall Square (1956 - Cashier).

Northern Bank, Lisburn branch

Northern Bank, Claudy branch

Northern Bank, Larne branch

Northern Bank, Banbridge branch

Northern Bank, Donegall Square branch

Thomas (44) took early retirement on 30th November 1956.

Henderson, James Montgomery

James Montgomery Henderson
was born at 'Sherbourne', Bawnmore Road, Belfast on 8th August 1912 to James Henderson, Accountant and Eugenie Louise Albertine Henderson nee Cluzeau. They had married on 21st January 1911 at Church of the Second Congregation, All Souls' Church, Belfast.
James was educated at Belfast Royal Academy.
James joined the Belfast Banking Company in April 1931 as reported in the Belfast News-Letter of 16th May 1931.

His father signed the Bankers Guarantee giving his address as 33 Indiana Avenue, Belfast. Later signatories were David Henderson and Eugenie Henderson. James is recorded as working in Warrenpoint and Ballymoney branches.

Bankers Guarantee ledger sheet

Belfast Bank, Warrenpoint branch

Belfast Bank, Ballymoney branch

It is thought that James may have volunteered for 'Active Service' with the Royal Artillery.
Following his return to the Belfast Bank after the war, James worked in Waring Street, Clearing Department and Chief Cashier's Department (in Victoria Square building).

Belfast Bank, Waring Street

Northern Bank, Victoria Street - Chief Cashier's Department

After 45 years service, James retired as Assistant Chief Cashier in April 1976. 
The Staff Magazine ‘The Link (Summer 1976)’ contains the above photograph of James.

James attended the annual Ex-Servicemen's Association Dinner in 1976

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Stutt, Robert Alexander (Alec) Crickton

Sergeant Robert Alexander (Alec) Crichton Stutt
was born at Church Street, Omagh on 15th December 1919 to the Rev John William Stutt and Elizabeth Alice Stutt nee Holland. They had married on 4th July 1917 at the Methodist Church, Armagh.

The Northern Whig of 29th April 1938 reported in an advertisement for 'John W Renshaw LLD of Shaftesbury House (School)' that R A C Stutt had passed his entrance examination for the Belfast Bank.

Known as Alec, he joined the Belfast Banking Company on 16th May 1938. His father signed the Bankers Guarantee giving his address and occupation as 545 Antrim Road, Belfast (Methodist Minister). Alec is recorded as working in Central branch.

Bankers Guarantee ledger sheet

Belfast Bank, Central branch (Donegall Square North)

At the start of the War, Stutt volunteered and joined the Royal Artillery, serving 7 years. He rose to the rank of Sergeant.
Following demobilisation, Alec re-joined the Belfast Banking Company.
He was a member of the Belfast Banking Company Sports Club in March 1947 paying 5 shillings subscription. At that time he was working in Castle Place branch. Transfers followed to Head Office (1948), North End (1949).

Belfast Bank, Castle Place branch

Belfast Bank, Head Office, Waring Street

Alec is recorded in the 1966 annual accounts of the Belfast Banking Company as being manager of their Lisburn Road branch. It had been opened 2 years earlier in 1964 after being located next door in 435 Lisburn Road from 1960 as a sub-branch.

The Belfast Telegraph of 19th May 1964 published this advertisement:

Belfast Bank, 437 Lisburn Road branch

Northern Bank, 437 Lisburn Road

The Belfast Telegraph of 2nd August 1977 reported on Alec and a colleague Barry Lowry (also 10 High Street staff) working for the 'Not Forgotten Association'.

Reverend John William Stutt died in March 1978.

Alec retired on 30th April 1981 as manager of the High Street, Belfast branch.

Northern Bank, 10 High Street branch

The Staff Magazine ‘The Link’ of Summer 1981 contain photographs of Alec.

Alec Stutt died on 15th August 2015 at Oakmount Lodge Care Home, Bangor. He was predeceased by his wife, Beatrice. Following cremation at Roselawn Crematorium, a Service of Remembrance was later held at Carnalea Methodist Church.

Monday, 15 November 2021

McFadden, John Thomas Brooks

Lieutenant John Thomas Brooks McFadden (RNVR)
was born at Ivinder (?) Terrace, Armagh on 3rd April 1920 to Henry John McFadden, Grocer and Elizabeth Maria McFadden nee Brooks. He was known as Brooks.
Brooks joined the Belfast Banking Company on 6th September 1939. Adeline Kathleen Brooks (spinster, a maiden aunt?) formerly of the Belgravia Hotel, Lisburn Road, Belfast signed the guarantee. A further agreement was signed by Shirley Brooksmere of 158 Belfast Road, Holywood. Brooks is recorded as working in Ballyclare branch.

Bankers Guarantee ledger sheet

Belfast Bank, Ballyclare branch

The Belfast News-Letter of 3rd October 1940 reports that Mr Brooks McFadden attended an exhibition called ''Things I Saw in Paris' (location unknown).

Brooks volunteered and enlisted into the Royal Navy and served on the Atlantic Convoys and in the Pacific theatre.

Following demobilisation, Brooks continued his service with the RNVR being  promoted to Lieutenant on 2nd August 1956 with seniority back-dated to 25th November 1951.
Brooks is recorded as being a member of the Belfast Banking Company Sports Club in March 1947 paying 5 shillings subscription. 

Promotions followed with Lisburn (1952), Inspector (1956), Bradbury Place (1962 - Manager), Assistant General Manager (1967), Advance Controller (1970).

Belfast Bank, Lisburn branch

Belfast Bank, Bradbury Place branch

The Belfast Telegraph of 17th May 1971 reported on the career of Brooks in a 'promotion' article:

Brooks retired on 30th September 1976. 

The Staff Magazine ‘The Link of Spring 1973 and Autumn 1974 contain additional photographs of Brooks McFadden.

Sunday, 14 November 2021

Campbell, Samuel MacDonnell

Lieutenant Samuel MacDonnell Campbell

was born at Dungiven on 16th October 1882 to Robert M Campbell, Hotel-keeper and Mary Campbell nee McDonnell (spelling as per birth registration).
On 26th March 1900 Samuel joined Northern Bank at Head Office. His address at that time is recorded as Dungiven.

Northern Bank, Head Office, Victoria Street, Belfast

In 1901 Samuel was boarding with the Allen family in house 59, Atlantic Avenue, Belfast. He is described as a Bank Official. There are 2 other boarders in the property.
Transfers followed his spell in Head Office with moves to Limavady (1903), Coleraine (1906 - Accountant), Larne (1910 - Cashier & Books) and Head Office (1915). 

Northern Bank, Coleraine branch

Northern Bank, Larne branch

By 1911, Samuel was boarding with Minnie Murray and her companion, Margaret Gladwin in house 53, Main Street, Larne, Co. Antrim. He describes himself as a Banker.
On ‘Ulster Day’, Saturday, 28th September 1912, Samuel signed the Ulster Covenant at Articlave Orange Hall.
On 10th May 1915, Samuel volunteered and enlisted into the 13th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was later attached to the 86th Trench Mortar Battery and promoted to Lieutenant.

Campbell was killed in action on 1st July 1916. 

The Belfast News Letter of 11th July 1916 reports:
Samuel was awarded the British Victory Medal and the British War Medal. 

S MacD Campbell - Medal Index Card

is buried in the Beaumont-Hamel British Cemetery, Somme, France.
Probate was granted at Dublin on 2nd October 1916 to Martin Richards, Dentist.  Campbell's effects totalled £194 18s 9d.

Samuel is remembered on a private family memorial at Dungiven Parish Church.

Louise Millsopp tweeted that "She was honoured to lay this today (14th November 2021) .... Lest we Forget".

Family Headstone at Dungiven Parish Church
(Courtesy of Louise Millsopp)