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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 was 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.

See Comments section below for a comment by Nelson's daughter, Gayda Shiells.

First published on 12th November 2012.


  1. Pat Nelson was the cashier in Claudy where I joined the bank in June 1854. He was married to Mary Elliott a lovely lady who was the daughter of the owner of the Imperial Hotel, Banbridge where I subsequently lived before my marriage. Pat was a real gentleman and we used to meet up from time to time. One amusing anecdote I can recall. One day in Claudy I found the bank's revolver - a Webley .45 which was covered in rust. I persuaded the manager to let me have a go at cleaning it up and I soon had it in good condition. The local RUC insisted I demonstrate my ability with the weapon before giving me a handful of ammunition - the IRA was still active in those days. Anyway I had the loaded pistol in my desk ready for use. Pat suddenly realised that he was in the direct line of fire between me and the door into the office. After argument with the manager he took the gun off me and put it out of my reach. Pat retired to Dungannon with his wife but sadly died a couple of years ago. I great friend and colleague.

  2. I am Pat's daughter, Gayda Shiells, and have only just uncovered this site. It was so delightful reading this material about my late father, some of which I had never known about.


Please add any verifiable information to assist me in building on the biographical information already detailed. Thank you.