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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Images of the Northern Bank War Memorial (Brass) - The Great War

The Great War - here are some more images of the Northern Bank brass 'Rolls of Honour' and 'War Memorial' in situ in the Northern Bank Head Office, Donegall Square West, Belfast.  Apologies for the poor angle, lighting, reflections etc, all due to the location in a narrow corridor.

Images of the Belfast Bank War Memorial (Brass) - The Great War

The Great War - here are some more images of the Belfast Bank brass 'Rolls of Honour' and 'War Memorial' in situ in the Northern Bank Head Office, Donegall Square West, Belfast. Apologies for the poor angle, lighting, reflections etc, all due to the location in a narrow corridor.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Roll of Honour on Waring Street Wall circa 1996

Roll of Honour on Waring Street Wall circa 1996

Up until the move to Donegall Square West, the various Rolls of Honour and War Memorials were installed on the walls of the old Belfast Banking Company Head Office in Waring Street, Belfast.

Here is a picture of the brass Belfast Banking Company memorial from circa 1996 found recently in a staff magazine from that period:

The 2 bank officials are dressed in periood costume.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Belfast Banking Company 'Roll of Honour' Booklet

Roll of Honour - Members of the staff of the Belfast Banking Co. Ltd. who have joined His Majesty's Forces.

This small, 20 page booklet would probably have been published near the end of the Great War.  All details have now been transcribed into the individual biographies.

How many of these would be in existence now?




Friday, 26 July 2013

White, Louis McKelvey

Major Louis McKelvey White
was born on 2nd May 1911 at house 18, Bridge Street, Cootehill. 

He was the son of William John White and Margaret Eleanor White and was of Presbyterian faith.  In 1911 they had 2 sons, Edwin and Geoffrey.  Louis was not yet born on Census day, 2nd April 1911. Another brother, Tom and a sister Eve lived with their grandfather, William White at  6 College Square, Camlough.

He was known as Louis. 

It is possible that there was also an 18 year old sister, Hannah Robinson White who was residing at house 62, Market Street, Cootehill.  This was probably a shop as there were several saleswomen and a milliner also residing there.

Louis was educated at the Masonic School, Richview, Dublin where he excelled at sport becoming captain of rugby and cricket.  He was orphaned at the age of 17 whilst at school.

Michael White continues his story:

".... He was befriended by a man called Raymond Brooke, of the Brookeborough family, a Grand Master in the Masons and Managing Director of a wine importing company in Dublin.  My father must have gone to stay with him in Sligo after leaving school when his mother died and prior to joining the Bank. ..... After arriving in Belfast to join the Bank, I believe he lived with his married sister Eva on the Upper Newtownards Road. .... Louis did mention to me at one time that had he pursued it, he could have had a career in the wine industry, but never mentioned Mr. Brooke.  I have Brooke's name from an inscription in a book which he gave to my father, "as a memento of the game against B.R.A." Signed-- R.F. Brooke, and a little bit of "Googling" revealed the above nformation. ...."

On 17th July 1929, White was living in 'Gibraltar Cottage', Sligo when he joined Northern Bank at Head Office.  

Whilst in Belfast, he played for the North of Ireland Rugby Football Club. 

Transfers followed to Antrim Road (1932) and Head Office (1935). 
White joined the 3rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade and was ‘Called up on Active Service’ on 24th August 1939 into the 8th Anti-Aircraft Regiment. 

He married Connie on 6th October 1939, just 1 month after war was declared.  As was the custom (bank rules) at the time, it is probable that as a junior and not earning very much, Louis would have had to request permission from the bank Director's to get married.  Presumably the start of the war helped his case.

His rank and promotions were Bombardier, Lance Sergeant, Sergeant, 2nd Lieutenant, Lieutenant and Captain.  His Service Number (Officer) was 163000. 

White served at Dunkirk and in India and Burma from 1942 to the end of the war.

8th Belfast HAA Regiment, Royal Artillery - probably around 1945. 

Acknowledgements to lennonwylie

Michael White was born in 1943 and was educated at Coleraine Inst when his father was based in Portrush branch.
White resumed duty with the Northern Bank on 15th November 1945 at Head Office.  Transfers followed to Donegall Square (1945), Portrush (1956), Markets (1962) and High Street (1967). 

Northern Banking Company, Donegall Square

He continued his Army career in the Territorial Army rising to the rank of Major.  Retirement from the Army came on 9th December 1961 having exceeded the age limit. 

Louis reired on ill-heath grounds in 1971.  In 1972, he and Connie joined their son, Michael and his wife in Auckland, New Zealand.
The Staff Magazine ‘The Link (Winter 1972)’ contains a photograph of White. 

Connie died on 10th August 1980 and Louis on 27th January 1982.  They are both buried in Auckland, New Zealand.
Acknowledgements to Louis White's son, Michael for additional information.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Facebook Site

An open group known as

Northern Bank - War Memorials / Roll of Honour

has been set up on Facebook.

It is updated on a regular basis with interesting items from this main site.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Europeana 1914-1918 Project

The Europeana 1914-1918 team have advised me that they have published my story. 

You can view it by clicking this link:

Best regards,
The Europeana 1914-1918 team

About the Europeana 1914-1918 Project


Europeana 1914-1918 is based on an initiative at the University of Oxford where people across Britain were asked to bring family letters, photographs and keepsakes from the War to be digitised.  The success of the idea – which became the Great War Archive – has encouraged Europeana, Europe’s digital archive, library and museum, to bring other national or local institutions across Europe into an alliance with Oxford University.  The collaboration brings European stories online alongside their British, German, Slovenian, Luxembourgian, Irish, etc. counterparts in a World War One stories collection.

What we are doing

The project is collecting memorabilia and stories from the period of the Great War (1914-1918).  This phase of the project is focussing on European items: letters, postcards, photographs and stories from Germany, Luxembourg, Ireland, Slovenia and the UK.

Project partners

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

McKitrick, Roderick Alexander

Squadron Leader Roderick Alexander McKitrick DFC (later Colonel)
was the son of George Evelyn McKitrick (born 2nd August 1879).  Educated at Campbell College, George was in Lower VI in 1895. 
In 1901, the family lived in house 122.1 Duncairn Street, Belfast.  By 1911 they had moved to house 53, Antrim Road, Belfast.  George is described as a Bank Clerk and works for the Belfast Banking Company in Head Office.
Roderick A McKitrick was probably born around 1920 and followed his father into the Belfast Banking Company.

The website, records a Roderick Alexander McKitterick with the following details:
Service Number: 149126 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
  • 14th May 1943 - Pilot Officer (on probation)
  • 14th November 1943 - Flying Officer (on probation)
  • 14th May 1945 - Squadron Leader

Roderick McKitrick flew also with No. 44 and No. 138 Squadron.  With No. 138 Squadron he was involved in dropping of Secret Agents in SOE operations. During Operation Draughts & Backgammon with Short Stirling Mk IV NF-J, LK200 in the night of 8th/9th September 1944, the plane hit the cable of a barrage balloon at 02.50 hours over Texel, the Netherlands and crashed. 
Of the crew Flying Officer Thomas Roger Court, Flying Officer John Hulme and Flying Officer George Evans Fletcher Walton died in the crash.  They later were buried at the cemetery at Den Burg, Texel, The Netherlands. 
Squadron Leader G.M. Rothwell, Flying Officer McKitrick, Pilot Officer Shaw and Flight Sergeant R.W. Wilmott were taken prisoner. Roderick Alexander McKitrick was imprisoned at POW camp L1 (Staluft 4B/L1) at Barth together with Rothwell and Shaw.
Flying Officer McKitrick was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) on 23rd May 1944 (published without citation).

The website, records McKitrick's plane crash over Holland.  Similar detail as above.
Following demobilisation, it is not clear if McKitrick returned to employment in the Belfast Banking Company.
However, the London Gazette continue the reporting of a R A McKitrick DFC as follows:
  • 28th July 1953 commission relinguished, Flight Lieutenant on transfer to Army
  • 25th September 1953 promotion from Lieutenant to Captain with Officer Number 429994 Royal Army Education Corps (seniority back to 1950).
  • 25th December 1953 seniority as Lieutenant (back to 4th May 1945).
  • 1st November 1957 promotion to Major (4th November 1957).
  • 27th January 1967 promotion to Lieutenant Colonel (31st December 1966).
  • 8th January 1974 promotion to Colonel (back to 30th June 1973) - from R.A.E.C.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Byers, Thomas - Update

Dave Donatelli from Canada has been in touch and advised that he owns a photograph album given to him by Capt. Thomas (Tommy) Byers MC.

Further photographs from the Byers album have been sent in by Dave. 

I have been extremely lucky to be given 6 photographs of Byers from the album.  Taken in 1916 / 1917 when Byers would have been 21 /  22 they show him in miltary uniform along with friends and family. 

Dave describes the latter 3 photos as:

".... This photo is of Tommy and his buddies.  The person on the far right is Ally Shaw.  So far I can't find out who the person in the middle is.  The second photo is of Tommy and his two buddies names William Proudfoot he was in the Australian Imperial Forces.  They say that William Proudfoot died in France 7th June 1917.  He service number is 2662.  I don't know if there is a discrepancy on William or not because I have photos of him after his recorded death.  The third person is Tommy Edwards he is in many photos in the photo album.  I have not been able to find any information on him either.  The 3rd photo is of Tommy and his sisters and friends.  This may have been taken in the back yard of their house at Dewsbury on Earlswood Road Belfast. ...."

According to the 1911 Irish Census, Tommy had 4 sisters, Bessie (22), Rachel (18), Jennie (10) and Louisa (6).  The sisters mentioned above may be Bessie and Rachel.

The final photograph below shows the 'album' and prints as displayed in an exhibition by Dave Donatelli.

This link takes you to the Byers biography.


Thanks to Dave Donatelli, Canada for supplying the photographs.