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Thursday, 17 January 2013

Wilgar, William James

Lieutenant William James Wilgar 

was born in Ballylesson in February 1892 and was of Presbyterian faith.

He was the son of John Wilgar (Bank Official, Northern Bank and Farmer) and Jane Wilgar.  In 1901, the family are living in house 52, Ballylesson, Breda Ward, Belfast.    
On 14th July 1908 he joined Northern Bank at Head Office.  Transfers followed to Donegall Square (1909) and Head Office – Relief (1911). 

Northern Banking Company, Donegall Square

On ‘Ulster Day’, Saturday, 28th September 1912, Wilgar signed the Ulster Covenant at Drumbo. 
In 1918 his address was ‘Fernlea’, Lisburn Road, Belfast. 

Wilgar was a member of Lisnagarvey Hockey Club.
On 25th February 1915, whilst on Relief Staff, Wilgar volunteered and enlisted into the 11th Bn. Loyal North Lancashire Regiment at the age of 23.  His regiment was part of the British Expeditionary Force.

He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and transferred into the Machine-Gun Corps.  Promotion to Lieutenant followed.  

He received one injury, a gunshot wound.  The Belfast News Letter dated 30th August 1916 reported:

Wilgar saw service at the Somme 1916, Messines 1917, Ypres 1917 (Passchendaele), Cambrai 1917, Allied Retreat 1918 and the Allied Advance 1918.  

Demobilisation came in July 1919.  He was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre, the British Victory Medal and the British War Medal. 
Following his demobilisation, Wilgar rejoined the Northern Bank on 16th July 1919 at Grafton Street.
Further transfers followed to Antrim (1929), Milford (1937) and Ballycastle (1943). 
Wilgar retired on 31st December 1953. 
W J Wilgar of Northern Bank, Antrim is reported as being the Secretary of Masserene Golf Club in 1935 (The Ulster Tourist Development Association Ltd). 
The family were members of Malone Presbyterian Church.  Wilgar’s name is recorded on the church Roll of Honour. 

He died on 13th October 1968.  He had been married to Ann Isobel Wilgar (nee Miller).

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