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Wednesday, 11 November 2020

We Will Remember Them

This post is to remember our colleagues who served, died in any conflict since the Great War be it as part of the armed forces or as a civilian just doing their job.

Specifically on this day, 11th November 2020, we remember those of our colleagues who courageously left their bank roles and went off to war.  Today's Northern Bank was created in 1970 with the amalgamation of the Belfast Banking Company with the Northern Banking Company.  

The following section of text is taken from page 203 of the Northern Bank Centenary Volume 1924 as it best describes those men who volunteered for war.

War Record

We have included in this volume a reproduction of the War Memorial, which hangs in the hall of the cash office at Head Office.  A perusal of the record of those who served will, we feel confident, engender a feeling of pride in the part the officials of the Bank took in the operations of the Great War.  Many banks have published separate war volumes recording the service of the members of their staffs.  In the case of kindred institutions across the water the numbers of those who so served run into figures larger perhaps by comparison than those we shew.  But it must be remembered that, with very few exceptions, every man who went from an Irish bank was a volunteer.  In the case of the Northern Bank there was but one such exception – William Pattenden, Head Office porter, a reservist of the Royal Sussex Regiment.  He was called up on the outbreak of war and went with the British Expeditionary Force, only to fall a few days after landing – the first casualty we had to record. Ninety-nine officials in all, or 25 per cent. of staff, volunteered; seven of the number were rejected on medical examination, and, of the remainder, fifteen made the supreme sacrifice.  We honour the names of those who volunteered, and, we hold in reverence the memory of those who fell, - many, alas, of whom were but lads on the threshold of life.

The following poem is by Laurence Robert Binyon, 1869-1943

For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Acknowledgements to The Western Front Association website.

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Hunter, William Herbert

Captain William Herbert Hunter
was born at 5 Chichester Terrace, Belfast on 8th April 1915 to Herbert Charles Hunter, Secretary (Linen business) and Ellen Hunter nee Miskimmin.

Herbert and Ellen had married on 8th May 1901 at St James' Church, Antrim Road, Belfast.  In 1911 they were living with the Miskimmin family (Ellen's parents) in house 25 Antrim Road, Belfast.  A daughter, Ellen (8) was also present in the house.

Schooling for William was at Belfast Royal Academy, Cliftonville Road, Belfast.

On 1st March 1933/38 (year is unclear), William joined Northern Bank at Head Office.

Northern Bank, Head Office, Victoria Street, Belfast

Transfers followed to Whitehead (1939) and back to Head Office (1940).

Northern bank, Whitehead branch

On 15th December 1939, William enlisted into the Royal Artillery and was ‘Called up’ on 13th January 1940 as a Gunner.  Promotion followed to Lance Bombardier, Cadet, 2nd Lieutenant (1942) and Captain with Service Number 224892.

Although the war in Europe had ended on 8th May 1945 (Victory in Europe Day), Capt William Hunter was still serving there with the Royal Ulster Rifles.  He had been home on leave at the end of August 1945 and had called into Whitehead branch to speak to his colleagues and friends.

Shortly after his return to Germany,he was Killed on Active Service on 11th October 1945 aged 30.  The 'incident' was reported to the War Office Casualty Branch for the 24 hours ended 09.00 am on 16th October 1945 (Forces War Record website). On 5th November 1945 the record was corrected to 'as a result of an accident'.

William's address at the time of his accident was 730 Antrim Road, Belfast.

The Belfast Telegraph reported that he was ‘Killed in a motoring accident in Germany on 11th October 1945'.  William is buried in the Munster Heath War Cemetery, Germany.  Many of the burials are those who died serving with the Army of Occupation following the end of the war.

His headstone reads as follows:

CWGC Document showing agreed headstone inscription details

An obituary and photograph were published by the Belfast Telegraph on 19th October 1945.

Belfast Telegraph 19th October 1945

Following this BelTel news report, a member of the Northern Bank staff (Staff Department) pasted the clipping onto William's staff record sheet.

Excerpt from William Hunter's Staff Record Sheet

The Larne Times dated 25th October 1945 published this article:

Larne Times 25th October 1945

Saturday, 15 August 2020

Victory Over Japan (VJ) Day - 15th August 2020 - 75th Anniversary of the end of World War 2

Belfast Telegraph - 14th August 1945 - Preparations for VJ Day

Belfast Telegraph - 16th August 1945 - The Day After VJ Day

96 of our colleagues volunteered for service in the Army, Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.  13 did not return.

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

The returning men were repatriated in stages from 1945 to 1947.  Some had returned for other reasons during the war.  All the men had stories to tell.  A few left the employment of the bank and went on to other roles.

The links below tell only part of the story.  Each man has an individual story that can be accessed via the website filters.

Northern Bank - deceased or served - names

This 16mm cine film records the men of the 8th Belfast HAA Regiment (The 12 Mile Snipers) returning home in 1946.  If interested there are 2 other parts to this film.

Highlights include at 6 mins 40 seconds in is Major H Maurice Gabbey (Belfast Banking Company) described as a 'bridge player'.  Their ship arrives in Larne at 8 minutes in and the film shows their return journey from Larne into Belfast where a parade was held for them.

We Shall Remember Them

Monday, 10 August 2020

The Reuniting of the Crew of RAF Lancaster NN775 - Flying Officer H G S Kerr, Belfast Banking Company Official

CWGC War Cemetery, Heverlee, Belgium - 1 grave with 7 headstones

RAF Lancaster NN775 was piloted by Belfast Banking Company official, Flying Officer Gordon Kerr, a native of Lurgan.

Just over 75 years ago, NN775 was lost over Belgium on 5th March 1945.

History Hub Ulster Chair Gavin Bamford visited Belgium in November 2016 and watched the excavation of Lancaster NN775 on behalf of the Northern Bank War Memorials website

This short video tells the story of NN775 and its crew of seven.

Wreaths at the crash site during the excavation of NN775

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Corkey, Herbert John

Herbert John Corkey
was born at Warrenpoint on 4th August 1898.  He was the son of John Corkey, Farmer and Helen Louisa Corkey nee Grandy.  

In 1901 Herbert lived in house 7, Donaghaguy, Warrenpoint with his parents and 2 siblings, Martha Mary and Isaac Henry.  Two servants were also in the property, William Skillen (20) and Mary Jane Skillen (13).

By 1911 Herbert was living in house 1, Great George’s Street, Warrenpoint with his parents and a sister, Evelyn Louisa (4).
On ‘Ulster Day’, Saturday, 28th September 1912, Herbert and his father signed the Ulster Covenant at Warrenpoint.  His mother, Helen signed the Women’s Declaration (Covenant). 
On 5th October 1914, Corkey joined Northern Bank at Head Office.  

Northern Banking Company, Head Office, Victoria Street, Belfast

Transfers followed to Fintona (1914), Magherafelt (1916), Limavady (1916) and Head Office (1917).  

Northern Banking Company, Fintona branch (courtesy McCullough family archive)

Northern Banking Company, Magherafelt branch

Cheques drawn on Northern Bank, Limavady, 1963 
(branch demolished & rebuilt as a modern building)

Herbert volunteered and enlisted as a Rifleman into the 16th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles on 29th September 1917 with Service Number 20576.  He also served in the 19th Battalion.

H J Corkey - Medal Index Card

H J Corkey - Medal Roll

Following demobilisation, Herbert was awarded the British War Medal and the British Victory Medal.

Herbert rejoined Northern Bank on 7th April 1919 at Newry.  A transfer to Crumlin Road came in 1920.  

Northern Banking Company, Newry branch

Herbert Corkey resigned from Northern Bank on 25th September 1920 and emigrated to Canada where he worked as a bank accountant.  He crossed the Canada border into USA on 15th October 1923 and settled in the US.

H J Corkey - Canada / USA Border Crossing Card

Herbert married Melba L Ogden on 10th November 1925.  

Following the entry of the US into WW2, Herbert was registered for the 'Draft' at the upper age limit of 43/44.

H J Corkey (Senior) - Draft Registration Card

At the same time, Herbert's son, also called Herbert John Corkey Junior was also registered for the 'Draft'.  He was aged 19 in 1946 and was recorded as a 'Returned Vet - Honourable Discharge - US Navy'

H J Corkey (Junior) - Draft Registration Card

Herbert Corkey died on 8th March 1971 and is buried in Washington Heights Memorial Park, Ogden, Weber County, Utah, USA.

Courtesy of 'Find a Grave' website

Friday, 12 June 2020

Cooper, Thomas W

Warrant Officer (Class 2) Thomas William Cooper

was born in Winchester in quarter 4, 1868 (Ref: - England & Wales, Civil Registration Births Index).  His mother's maiden name was Wring.

Around 1900/1902, Thomas married Mary Wilson (Ref: Birth Registration for Jane Cooper, 1905)

On 4th October 1904, at Clonmel,  Colour Sergeant Thomas Wm Cooper (Service Number 1342) was discharged from the 4th Bn Royal Irish Regiment.

Proceedings on Discharge - Thomas W Cooper

Thomas joined Northern Bank in 1904 as a Bank Porter based in Northern Banking Company, Grafton Street, Dublin.

Northern Banking Company, Grafton Street, Dublin

In 1911, Thomas (41 - see above re his birth registration) is residing in house 116, Grafton Street, Dublin with his wife, Mary Ellen and his children; Elizabeth (8), Jane (5), Isabella (3) and Thomas (2).  He is described as a Bank Porter.

Thomas was based in Grafton Street branch, Dublin when he enlisted on 16th September 1914 into the 5th Bn. Royal Irish Regiment with Service Number 2033.

Army Reserve Attestation Form - T W Cooper

His first theatre of war was recorded as the Balkans from 22nd July 1915.

He subsequently saw service in Gallipoli, the landing at Suvla Bay and in the Salonika Campaign (Retreat from Serbia). 

Following his promotion to Company Quarter Master Sergeant (CQMS) he was further promoted to Warrant Officer Class 2.

Thomas was demobilised in April 1919 and was awarded the 1915 Star, the British Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

Thomas was commemorated in a Gallipoli Centenary event at the Northern Banking Company exhibit, Ulster Folk Museum, Cultra in April 2015.

Gavin Bamford presenting the Gallipoli event at Cultra

The Last Post Award

Thomas Cooper (70) died on 6th October 1939 as reported in the Belfast Telegraph.  He is buried in Dundonald Cemetery, Belfast:

Belfast Telegraph, 7th October 1939

Mary Ellen Cooper died on 22nd April 1917 - age 46 - wife born c. 1871
Thomas William died on 23rd September 1971 - age 62 - son born c. 1909
Margaret Cooper died on 24th October 1936 - age 59 - ? born 1877

The grave was opened in 1939 for the interment of Thomas Cooper.  This document is from the Dundonald Cemetery records.

Courtesy (paid for) of Belfast City Council - Dundonald Cemetery

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Carlisle, John Craig

Lieutenant John Craig Carlisle
was born at Derryvalley on 16th January 1895 the son of Samuel Carlisle, Farmer and Margaret Carlisle nee Gillespie.  

In 1901 John is living in house 3, Derryvalley, Ballybay, Co. Monaghan with his parents and 2 sisters; Eileen and Jane Matilda.  A servant, Mary McGowan (13) also lives in the property.

On 10th October 1910 John joined Northern Bank at Head Office.  Transfers followed to Dromore (1911), Donegall Square (1911), Grafton Street (1913) and Head Office (1915).  

Northern Banking Company, Head Office, Victoria Street, Belfast

Northern Banking Company, Donegall Square

Northern Banking Company, Grafton Street, Dublin

In 1911, John (16) was boarding with the Jardine family in house 43, Church Street, Dromore, Co. Down.  He is described as a Bank Clerk.  John's family still live in Derryvalley and have a new daughter, Dora,
On 20th November 1915 John volunteered and enlisted into the Royal Irish Rifles, then the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps (OTC).  John later saw service with the Machine-Gun Corps and was promoted to Lieutenant.

Medal Index Card - John C Carlisle

John was later awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

On 5th October 1918, John married Anna Ferguson of 49 Rathgar Road, Rathgar, Dublin in Rathgar Presbyterian Church.  (Source: Genealogy Ireland).
A comment was left in 2017: "Torpedoed! The RMS Leinster Disaster" by Philip Lecane. For further information please contact the author through the website with individual links:
RMS Leinster was an Irish ship operated by the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company. She served as the Kingstown-Holyhead mailboat until she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine SM UB-123, which was under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Robert Ramm, on 10th October 1918, while bound for Holyhead. She went down just outside Dublin Bay at a point 4 nautical miles (7.4 km) east of the Kish light. (Source: Wikipedia)

Following demobilisation, John resigned from the bank and became an accountant with the Air Ministry (1919).

In 1939, John was living in 42 Woodland Gardens, Hornsey, Middlesex, England.  He is recorded as married and a Bank Manager.

1939 Register - John C Carlisle

John C Carlisle died in late 1966 aged 71 at Hove , Sussex, England.

Probate Record - John C Carlisle

Friday, 5 June 2020

Bullick, Edwin

[Courtesy of Lisburn Museum]

Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant Edwin Bullick
was born at Bachelors Walk, Lisburn on 3rd September 1894 the son of James Parker Bullick, Painter and Katie Bullick nee Pyne.  They had married on 15th April 1894 in Lisburn.

 In 1901 Edwin lived in house 67, Bachelors Walk, Lisburn with his parents and 2 sisters; Kathleen and Elizabeth Irene.

Edwin was educated at the Ulster Provincial School (Friends' School), Lisburn.  In 1906 he won the 'Prize for the Head of the [3rd] Form' and for 'French'.  In 1908 he won the 'Arithmetic (Special Prize)'.

The following postcard (front & reverse) dated 27th April 1908 appeared in a Facebook group posted by Ernest McGookin.

Postcard addressed to Edwin Bullick

On 2nd May 1910, Edwin joined Northern Bank at Head Office.

Northern Banking Company, Head Office, Victoria Street, Belfast

By 1911, Edwin was residing in house 36, Railway Street, Lisburn with his parents and 6 siblings; Elizabeth Irene, Kathleen, Ida Helen, Moses, Nora Gertrude and James.  A servant, Margaret Alley is also present in the house.  Edwin is described as a Bank Clerk.

In 1913, he was transferred to Ball’s branch.

Northern Banking Company, Ball's branch,
Sackville Street, (Upper O'Connell Street), Dublin

Whilst in Ball’s branch, he travelled back to Lisburn on 9th September 1914 and enlisted (aged 20) into the 11th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles under Col. Pakenham for the duration of the war.  His Service Number was 11/17338.  He has recorded his occupation as a Clerk.

Service Record - Edwin Bullick

Medal Index Card - Edwin Bullick

Edwin saw service with the British Expeditionary Force and was promoted to Lance Corporal in October 1914.  He was made Sergeant in December 1914, Company Quarter Master Sergeant in January 1915.  Edwin's first theatre of war is recorded as France from 5th October 1915.

On that date, Edwin left Bordon Camp for France and is named on the Embarkation List for the 11th (Service) Bn. Royal Irish Rifles (South Antrim Volunteers).   Promotion to Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant came in March 1916.   Edwin saw action at Somme 1916 (Thiepval), Messines 1917, Ypres 1917 and Cambrai 1917.

Edwin was demobilised in January 1919 and was awarded the 1915 Star, the British Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

Medal Roll - Edwin Bullick

Medal Roll - Edwin Bullick

(*) William Parker Bullick, a relative from
house 6, Bachelors Walk (1911) is detailed below Edwin

The original medals and leather service number tags have been framed along with those of another Northern Banking Company official, J W Harrip.

[Courtesy of David Wilson]

Edwin was transferred on demobilisation to the Class Z Reserve.

Following demobilisation, Edwin rejoined the Northern Bank on 3rd February 1919 at Head Office.   A transfer to Ballynahinch followed in 1922. He was back in Head Office (1926) followed by Ederney, Co. Fermanagh (1930).   By 1938 Edwin was manager of Holywood branch.

Northern Banking Company, Ballynahinch branch (on left)

Northern Banking Company, Holywood branch

In 1926, Edwin Bullick of 10 Wallace Avenue, Lisburn travelled via Liverpool to La Pallice, France on the ship, Orbita.

Passenger List - Edwin Bullick - 4th November 1926

In 1927, Edwin Bullick of 10 Wallace Avenue, Lisburn travelled via Southampton to Algiers, Algeria on the ship, Grotius.

Passenger List - Edwin Bullick - 1927

In 1928/29, Edwin & Agnes Bullick of Lisburn, Northern Ireland travelled via Liverpool to Gibraltar on the Glasgow steamer, Britannia (built by Anchor Line (Henderson Bros) Ltd., Glasgow).

Passenger List - Edwin Bullick - 1928/29

Whilst working in Ederney, Edwin was a member of Magheraculmoney (Kesh) Parish Church.

On 29th June 1938, the Belfast Telegraph carried a report about an 'Ederney Bank Raid'.

Belfast Telegraph dated 29th June 1938

Edwin Bullick retired on 15th January 1951.

Allister Mulligan posted two photographs of a postcard on the Caledon and Aughnacloy Memories facebook group.  The postcard was posted in 1913 and is addressed to Jas P Bullick at 28 Railway Street, Lisburn.

The following photographs (taken through glass) come by courtesy of Lisburn Museum and its donors.

Lisburn Standard - Friday, 15th November 1918

Mr James Parker Bullick

The death took place at his residence, Wallace Avenue, Lisburn, on Sunday, following a long illness, of Mr. James Parker Bullick, second son of the late Moses Bullick, and a member of the firm of Moses Bullick & Son, painters and contractors. Belfast and Lisburn.  Deceased was held in the highest regard by all who knew him.  He was a fine sportsman in his younger days, and was a staunch Unionist.  He was a member of the Lord Arthur Hill Masonic Lodge, Blaris, No. 147.  A sterling Churchman, like his father before him he worshipped in Christ Church.  He took a keen interest in the war, and if he died with any regret it was that he did not live to see peace declared, though he had the satisfaction of knowing before the end came that victory was assured. 
His eldest son, Quartermaster Edwin Bullick. R.I.R., is serving at the front, and it is sad to think that he got the news of his father's death on the day that peace was declared.  Prior to volunteering Q.M.S. Bullick was an official in the Northern Bank, Belfast. 
Sincere sympathy is felt for the widow and children in their bereavement.

The funeral took place on Wednesday at noon to the New Cemetery, the cortege being a large and representative one.  The chief mourners were -- Maurice and James Bullick (sons), E. Bullick (brother), Edward P. Bullick (nephew), and James G. Bullick, Rathfriland.  Wreaths were sent by Mr. and Mrs. Moses Bullick. Ellen and Annie, "All from Daisy Hill" (Newry), Mr. Harry Anderson, and Mr. John Jefferson.  Prior to the funeral Rev. R. H. S. Cooper conducted a short service at the house. Mr. Cooper also officiated at the graveside.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. Jellie & Fullerton.