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Thursday, 31 March 2016

Blythe, Herbert John

Lieutenant Herbert John Blythe
was born in Downpatrick on 17th September 1887. 
He joined Northern Bank on 24th May 1904 at Head Office.   At that time his address was Northern Bank, Banbridge.  This may indicate his father was employed in Banbridge as manager.  The family were of Church of Ireland faith.  

Transfers followed with Newry (1904), Ballymena (1907), Grafton Street (1908), Head Office (1910) and Carrickfergus (1912).  

Northern Banking Company, Ballymena

In 1911, Blythe is living in house 54 Botanic Avenue, Cromac, Belfast with his mother, Elise Corinne Taylor and other children with surname of Taylor.  These are possibly step-brothers and sisters.  He is described as a Bank Official. 

On 30th November 1915, Blythe enlisted as a Trooper into the North Irish Horse aged 28.   He transferred into the Royal Irish Rifles, served with the British Expeditionary Force and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant with the R I R.   Blythe served with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force and was seconded into the Camel Corps.   He was promoted to Lieutenant.

Blythe saw action at Gaza; Heriera and Beersheba and Jericho (Jordan Valley).  

He was demobilised in July 1919 and was awarded the British Victory Medal and the British War Medal. 

Following demobilisation, Blythe rejoined the Northern Bank in Head Office on 1st August 1919. Transfers followed to Lurgan (1919), Grafton Street (1922) and Head Office (1930).   Whilst in Head Office he was promoted to Manager, Foreign Department (1930), Assistant Chief Cashier (1940) and Chief Cashier (1941). 

The Staff Magazine ‘The Link (August 1981)’ contains a photograph of Blythe in a 1913 Northern Bank Staff Golf outing.

First published on 8th November 2012.