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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Maguire, Frank Patrick

2nd Lieutenant Francis (Frank) Patrick Maguire
was born around 1895.  His parents were Michael Maguire, Solicitor and Marian Maguire.

In 1901 the family lived in house 3, Castle, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal.  The property is described as house 10, Castle Street in the 1911 census.

Frank joined the Belfast Banking Company and served in Castleblayney branch.  

A member of his family was the Very Rev Canon E Maguire of Tamney, Letterkenny. 

The Belfast Banking Company 'Roll of Honour' booklet records Maguire as working in Londonderry branch.

Maguire volunteered and enlisted into the army.  His Service Number was 5317.  He rose through the ranks to Sergeant before he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant.
He was serving with the 5th Bn. Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians) as a 2nd Lieutenant when he was killed in action on 27th April 1918.   Maguire is buried in the Cinq Rues British Cemetery, Hazebrouck, Nord, France.

Maguire is also remembered in St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast on a Belfast Banking Company Memorial window and plaque.

He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Clarke, David Victor

Major David Victor Clarke TD, KStJ

[At home with David Victor Clarke

[Major D V Clarke TD, KStJ at an event at Belfats Cenotaph - 02/11/2015
- photo Mark Brown]

was born on 27th February 1924 at Milltown, Donacloney, Lurgan.  He was of Presbyterian faith. 
Following his education at Cookstown High School and Omagh Academy, Clarke joined the Omagh Home Guard in June 1940 (whilst underage and still at school).  In September 1940 with the creation of an Air Training Flight at his school he joined and became their first Flight Sergeant. 
On 2nd May 1942 Clarke joined Northern Bank at Head Office.  His address was ‘Stathroy’, Omagh.  A transfer to Broadway, Ballymena followed in 1943.  

Northern Banking Company, Ballymena

On 3rd November 1943 he volunteered for aircrew duties in the Royal Air Force. 
Clarke resigned from the bank on 18th December 1943 when he was ‘Called up’ – RAF. 
Aircrew Reception Centre, St John’s Wood London, with the Doodle Bugs and V2 rockets gave him his baptism of enemy fire, but after a few weeks he was posted to No. 2 Initial Training Wing at St John’s College, Cambridge for a three month course.  Flying aptitude tests followed at RAF Sywell in Cambridgeshire, flying Tiger Moth bi-plane aircraft, and passing for training as a fighter pilot.  Service on several airfields followed, mainly loading bombers with their varied loads for attacks on Germany, and in February 1945 he was posted to Southern Rhodesia for training, via the circuitous route of Atlantic/Mediterranean/Suez Canal/Red Sea and Indian Ocean, landing at Mombasa, Kenya for a short stay then by small coaster to Durban and finally by train to Gwelo, Southern Rhodesia.  Training began on Fairchild Cornell aircraft, graduating to the Harvard from which Cadets graduated (hopefully) with their coveted wings, but with the war ending in August 1945 he did not gain these.  Clarke was awarded the Defence Medal and War Medal. 
Repatriated through Cape Town and discharged on 10th May 1946 he rejoined Northern Bank at Head Office on 1st May 1946.  Transfers followed to Shankill Road (1946), Downpatrick (1948), Head Office (1949), Holywood (1951), Donegall Square (1956), Holywood (1958), Head Office (1960), Holywood (1961), Head Office (1964), Ballynafeigh (1967) and Bangor (1983).  Clarke also records a period of time in Training School and on the Inspection staff. 

Northern Banking Company, Donegall Square

On 11th March 1948 Clarke wrote to the Bank and requested permission to join the Territorial Army (TA).  This was given and on 23rd March 1948 he joined the TA as a Gunner in 429 (Antrim) Coast Regiment RA (TA).  He was commissioned on 1 April 1949 with Service Number 402421, promoted Captain in 1952 and Major, as Battery Commander in 1955.  The Regiment converted to Royal Engineers in 1956, becoming 146 Corps Engineer Regiment (Antrim Artillery) RE (TA), and he retired in 1962 as Second in Command and was awarded the Territorial Decoration. 
On retirement from the Bank in 1983, he volunteered for service with the St. John Ambulance Association – Northern Ireland, as Director of First Aid Training for business and the general public.  This was part of St John Ambulance – Northern Ireland, a Foundation of the Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.  He was invested as an Officer Brother in 1985, created a Commander Brother in 1990, promoted to Commander of St John Ambulance in 1992 and retiring on age in 1996.  He remained on the Chapter (governing body) of The Commandery of Ards (responsible for Order affairs within Northern Ireland) and, in 1997, he was honoured with a further promotion within the Order to become a Knight of Grace, as position still held at time of writing (2011). 
His retirement on 23rd September 1983 is recorded in the Staff Magazine ‘The Link’ (Winter 1983). 
He is still alive in 2014 aged 91. 
An article and photograph about Clarke appeared in the Staff Magazine ‘The Link’ (Summer 1981).

Somers, William John Reeves

Corporal William John Reeves Somers
was born in Chichester, Sussex on 7th August 1884.

He was the son of the late Mr and Mrs Somers, of Glenfarg Road, Catford, London, husband of Kate Annie Somers, of 4 Bridge Place, St. James' Road, Croydon. 

Somers appears to have served in the Royal Navy (Pembroke) between 10th October 1900 and 17th September 1901.  He is recorded as having 'a scar of a cut on his left thumb'.

The 1901 English census records Somers as being in the Royal Naval Chatham Dockyard, Kent, England.
Later on, he joined the Belfast Banking Company and worked in Western branch (Shankill Road, Belfast). 

Somers enlisted with a Service Number of 6660.  The National Archives also record a Service Number of 358816.  
He was serving with 2nd Bn. Royal Sussex Regiment as a Corporal when he was killed in action on 9th May 1915 in Richebourg L'avoue aged 31.  Somers is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, Pas De Calais, France.  There is also a grave in Ilford Cemetery, Essex, England. 

Somers was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

McCunn, Thomas

Driver Thomas J McCunn Junior
was born in 1900.  He was the son of Thomas McCunn and Annie McCunn.  Thomas is a farmer.

In 1900 the family were living in house 3, Tamlaught, Fruithill, Londonderry.  Thomas Jnr had two elder brothers, John and Samuel and an elder sister, Annie Mary.

In 1911 the family are have expanded and moved to house no 7, Myroe Level, Myroe, Co. Londonderry.  There are now the parents, a grandfather and seven children living in the house.  The additional children are Margaret Jane, Robert James and Joseph.  The grandfather is Adam McCunn.

Thomas joined Northern Bank in 1915 at Head Office.

McCunn volunteered and enlisted into the Army Service Corps (ASC) – Mechanical Transport.  Later he was attached to the 59th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery.  His Service Number was M/345384.

McCunn died (of pneumonia) on active service on 21st April 1918 and is buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

He was awarded the British Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

Patterson, William

William Patterson

was born around 1869.

William would have joined the Belfast Banking Company around 1890 / 1895. 

In 1901, a Solicitor (aged 32 and single) named William Patterson was living in house 12, Lennox Place, Holywood.  He was of Non-Subscribing Presbyterian faith.  William was living with Elizabeth Patterson (71), presumably his mother and two women, a niece of Elizabeth, Alicia Latimer and a sister of Elizabeth, Mary Latimer.

In 1910, this website records a William Patterson, solicitor living in Stewart's Place, Holywood.

In 1911, a Solicitor (aged 42 and single) named William Patterson was living in house 31, High Street, Holywood.  He was of Unitarian faith.  William was living with Elizabeth Patterson (82), presumably his mother.

The Holywood, Lennox and Solicitor connections tie in with other information held by the writer.

Patterson volunteered and enlisted into the army.

He was reported missing (date unknown).

The website In Flanders Field report the following instances of the name William Patterson with their 'deceased' date in the first column:


Unfortunately there is still not enough information to identify the correct soldier.

Seymour, William Matthew

2nd Lieutenant William Matthew Seymour
was born on 4th October 1896.

Known as William, he was the son of William Seymour and Lydin Seymour (nee Brooks) of 56 Glen Road, Andersonstown, Belfast.  The family were of Church of Ireland faith.

In 1911 the family are living in house 15, Stranmillis Park, Belfast.

Following his education at RBAI (Inst), Belfast, in March 1913, Seymour joined Northern Bank at Head Office.   Transfers to Donegall Square (1913) and Head Office (1914) followed. 

Northern Banking Company, Donegall Square

Whilst working for the bank, he was also a member of the Queen's University Officer Training Corps from 1st November 1915 to 21st January 1916.

Second-Lieutenant William Matthew Seymour, 9th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, received his commission in the 10th (reserve) battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Aged 20, he was Killed in Action on 16th August 1917 on the opening day of the battle of 'Langemarck' 16th August, 1917.

Private Brady of the battalion reported:

"He was in command of VIII platoon.   He was a young man and I knew him well; he was fair and very nice and well liked by everyone.   I saw him during the attack; we were well over the ridge to the left of St Julien.   I was only 10 yards off him when I saw him killed outright by a piece of shrapnel.   I was wounded very shortly afterwards.   I have heard since that we took our objective that morning but got driven back again, so perhaps the Germans would get his body."

Seymour was awarded the British Victory Medal and the British War Medal and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Flanders, Belgium.

The Northern Whig of 10th August 1918 reported:

Ulster Division Officer Missing

Second-Lieutenant W.M. Seymour 9th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, reported missing at Ypres on the 16th August, 1917.  He was an old boy of the Royal Academical Institution, and left the Northern Bank (Donegall Square West Branch) to join up.  His relatives had no definite news, but two or three vague contradictory messages through the British Red Cross Society and other sources.  They regard it as possible that he was picked up wounded by the Germans as reported from one source, and that some returned prisoner might be able to give information.  Any news would be most gratefully received by his brother, Mr. J. Seymour, Preparatory School. R.A.I., Inchmarlo, Marlborough Park, Belfast.

[Newspaper text courtesy of John McCormick]

The Belfast News Letter of 6th January 1919 reported:

Roberts, Hugh Stanley

Lance Corporal Hugh Stanley Roberts
was born in Enniskillen on 18th September 1895.  

He was the son of Samuel Roberts and Margaret Jane Roberts.  In 1911 the family are living in house 7, Rigg, Ely, Co. Fermanagh.  They were of Methodist faith.
On 11th April 1913, Roberts joined Northern Bank at Head Office.   Transfers followed to Fintona (1913) and Head Office (1914). 

On ‘Ulster Day’, Saturday, 28th September 1912, Roberts signed the Ulster Covenant at Enniskillen. 
In September 1914, he volunteered and enlisted into the 9th Bn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers as a Private with Service Number 13613.  This was to be for the ‘duration of war’. 
Prior to being killed in action, aged 20, on 1st July 1916 he was promoted to Lance Corporal (Corporal 2nd). 
Roberts was awarded the British Victory Medal and the British War Medal and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.