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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).

Ferris, William Thompson


Staff Lieutenant William Thompson Ferris
was born on 12th March 1890.  He was the son of Walter Ferris and Rachel Ferris.  In 1901 the family lived in house 19, Mall, Armagh. 
On 17th May 1909 he joined Northern Bank at Head Office.  Transfers followed to Lisburn (1910) and Head Office (1914).  By 1911, their property is known as house 21, The Mall, Armagh.  Ferris is described as a Bank Clerk.  He was of Presbyterian faith. 
On 15th September 1914, Ferris volunteered and enlisted into the 6th Bn. Black Watch as a Private.  He served with the British Expeditionary Force, was promoted to Lance Corporal and then Gazetted as 2nd Lieutenant.  Further promotion followed to Lieutenant and then Staff-Lieutenant 1st Class.   He saw action in the Second Battle of Festubert May 1915, Vimy Ridge 1916 and the Somme 1916.  

An injury occurred on 29th July 1916 at High Wood.  
The Belfast News Letter of 7th August 1916 reports:




Demobilisation came on 14th July 1919.  He was Mentioned in Despatches on 29th August 1919 and awarded the 1914/15 Star, the British Victory Medal and the British War Medal. 

Following demobilisation, Ferris rejoined the Northern Bank on 22nd September 1919 and was transferred to Newry. 
On 12th July 1920, Ferris retired and took up his father’s business.  
The Staff Magazine ‘The Link (August 1981)’ contains a photograph of Ferris in a 1913 Northern Bank Staff Golf outing.

Watson, James


Lieutenant James Watson
was born in 1893.  

He was the son of Robert Watson JP and Elizabeth Watson.  In 1911, the family are recorded as living in house 27, Bond’s Hill, Waterside, Londonderry. 
Watson joined the Belfast Banking Company and served in Kingstown and Coleraine branches. 
James volunteered and enlisted into the 10th Bn. Royal Inniskillng Fusiliers (Derry Volunteers) with Service Number 16083 (The official Medal Roll records his number as 16082).  He was promoted to Acting Corporal.

Watson was serving with 27th Bn. Manchester Regiment as a Lieutenant when he was killed in action on 30th July 1916.  
The Belfast News Letter of 2nd December 1916 records:


Watson was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  He is buried in the Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz, France.


The Belfast News Letter dated 3rd August 1916 reports:


Administration of the Estate was granted at Londonderry to Robert Watson. Merchant.  Watson's effects were £534.