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Sunday, 9 December 2018

Mercer, Maurice Dillon

Maurice Dillon Mercer
was born 27th September 1897 in Bridge Street, Dromore to William James Mercer, Draper and Margaret Mercer nee Henry.

In 1901 the family were living in house 5, Bridge Street, Dromore, Co. Down.  By 1911, the property is described as house 8, Bridge Street, Dromore, Co. Down.

On 28th September 1912, Mercer signed the Ulster Covenant at Dromore.

Mercer would have joined the Belfast Banking Company around 1915 and worked in Derry and Rathfriland branches.

[Belfast Banking Company, Shipquay Street, Londonderry]

Belfast Banking Company, Rathfriland

Mercer served with the 26th Bankers’ Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers.  He is also recorded as serving in the 22nd Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) and also the 23rd Royal Fusiliers.  His Service Number was G/52005.

The Belfast Banking Company 'Roll of Honour' booklet records Mercer as being a 'prisoner of war'.

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

According to the UK Pension Records, Mercer was suffering from Myalgia (see below).  On 15th May 1919, Mercer was demobilised to the Belfast Banking Company, Dungannon.  Between the periods 1922 to 1927 the Pension Records card was updated many times.

[Belfast Banking Company, Dungannon branch]

[UK Pension Record Card - M D Mercer]

Mercer was a member of the Belfast Banking Company Sports Club in March 1948 paying 1 shillings subscription.

Retirement came in 1960.

An Ancestry.Com family tree states that Mercer died on 24th July 1982.  This has been confirmed in the Northern Bank staff magazine 'The Link' of Autumn 1982.

Hewitt, William Arthur

2nd Lieutenant William Arthur Hewitt

was born in 1893 the son of James H Hewitt and Jeannie D Hewitt, of Altamont, 97 Mornington Park, Bangor, Co. Down.  James was a well known local figure, being the local manager in the Workshops for the Blind.

In 1901 the family were living in house 15, Rosetta Avenue, Ormeau, Belfast.

He was educated at RBAI (Inst.), played rugby for the North of Ireland Rugby Football Club and was also a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

Hewitt joined the Belfast Banking Company and served in Markets branch.

[Belfast Banking Company, Markets branch (Victoria Street, Belfast (1918))]

By 1911 the family were living in house 27, Downshire Road, Bangor, Co. Down with their son, William A, aged 18.  William is described as a Bank Clerk. He had been working in Head Office.

On 28th September 1912, Hewitt's father signed the Ulster Covenant at Dufferin Memorial Hall, Bangor.

Hewitt volunteered and enlisted into the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.  His first theatre of war is recorded as western Europe from 25th March 1916.  His Medal Index Card records his father's address as Mornington Park, Bangor.

He was serving with 9th Bn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers as a 2nd Lieutenant when he was killed in action on 1st July 1916 aged 23.  He was their Assistant Adjutant.

Hewitt was one of three brothers who fell.  They were Lieutenant Ernest Henry Hewitt (Mentioned in Dispatches), killed in action on 15th / 16th June 1915 aged 29, and Lieutenant Holt Montgomery Hewitt, killed in action on 1st July 1916 aged 29.  William is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France and also on Bangor War Memorial.

A brass memorial tablet, commemorating all three brothers is also on show in St. Comgall's Church, Bangor.   It was dedicated and unveiled in August 9 - see newspaper clipping below.

The Belfast News Letter of 7th July 1916 reports:

The Belfast News Letter of 10th July 1916 reports:

The Belfast News Letter of 12th July 1916 reports:

The regimental magazine 'The Sprig' dated 2nd September 1916 reports:

The Belfast News Letter of 15th August 1917 reports:

Administration of the estate was granted at Belfast to Francis H Hewitt, Manager.  Hewitt's effects were £352 9s 6d.

Thanks to Nigel Henderson of Great War Belfast Newspapers ( for this image.

Morris, William Oliver Ernest

2nd Lieutenant William Oliver Ernest Morris
was born in Omagh on 11th January 1895.

He was the son of the late Capt & Quartermaster W A Morris MC (1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers) and Mrs E A Morris nee Montgomery, ‘Inverna’, Woodland Avenue, Belfast. 

Following his education at RBAI, Morris joined the Belfast Banking Company and served in North City, Dublin branch.

[Belfast Banking Company, North City, Dublin branch (1918)]

On 7th September 1914 he enlisted in Dublin into the South Irish Horse.   Morris was commissioned on 9th February 1915 to the King’s Regiment.   He was serving with 16th Bn. attached to the 12th Bn. The King's (Liverpool Regiment) as a 2nd Lieutenant when he was killed in action on 17th June 1916.

The battalion were in the trenches in front of Potijze, east of Ypres.  Following a quiet day, they were heavily shelled at dusk, with the front and support trenches being bombarded about midnight.  Six men were killed, including Morris. 

The Belfast News Letter of 23rd June 1916 reports:

Morris is buried in the Potijze Chateau Wood Cemetery, leper West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

The family memorial in Breandrum Cemetery in Enniskillen.  Capt W A Morris MC (father) 19th March 1917 and his son Lt E Morris 17th June 1916.

The regimental magazine 'The Sprig' records Morris' death as follows:

['The Sprig' - Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers regimental magazine]

[Photo courtesy of Nigel Henderson, Great War Belfast Clippings]

Caskey, William Scott

Colonel William Scott Caskey MBE
was born on 22nd March 1925.  His parents were Capt. James Alexander Caskey MC and Sarah Margaret Caskey nee Buchanan.  He was of Presbyterian faith.  His address was recorded as Breezemount, Roddens, Larne.
On 29th March 1943 Caskey joined Northern Bank at Head Office.  In the same year, he was transferred to Antrim Road as junior. 
He resigned from the Bank on 31st March 1944 to enlist into the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers with Service Number I4446495.  On 3rd August 1945 the London Gazette records Caskey as being promoted to 2nd Lieutenant with Service Number 352265 in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.  Following the end of the war, he was promoted to Lieutenant on 22nd September 1947. 
Caskey did not rejoin the bank.  This was confirmed in a note dated 6th January 1948 when Caskey advised the bank that he had a commission in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

In 1952, Captain Caskey was Adjutant to the Royal Engineers sub-unit of Queens' University OTC attending a camp at Ballyedmond.

(Acknowledgements to lennonwylie)

In 1953, he transferred to the Royal Army Pay Corps as a Captain and Paymaster with seniority from 5th October 1953.  Promotion to Major came on 22nd March 1959. 
In 1962, he was awarded the MBE (Military Division) in the Queen's Birthday Honours.  On 31st December 1968, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. 
A further promotion to Colonel came on 30th December 1972 with seniority back dated to 30th June 1972. 
On 30th October 1974, Colonel Caskey retired on account of disability. 
Caskey had several papers published on the computerisation of army payrolls.