You are welcome to our ‘Last Post’ Gallipoli Commemoration event being held on Sunday, 26th April 2015 at 2pm at the Northern Banking Company exhibit within the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra.
We will be commemorating four bank officials from the Northern Banking Company who volunteered and enlisted to serve during the Great War.
Warrant Officer Class 2 Thomas W Cooper was an Englishman and joined Northern Bank in 1904 as a bank porter. He was working in Grafton Street branch, Dublin when he enlisted into the 5th Bn. Royal Irish Regiment (10th Irish Division). Thomas saw service in Gallipoli, the landing at Suvla Bay and in the Salonika campaign before transferring to the Western Front. He was demobilised in April 1919 and was awarded the Star, the British War Medal and the British Victory Medal.
Private Charles Kevin Fitzsimons was born on 9th November 1890. His family was from Newry and were of Roman Catholic faith. Kevin joined Northern Bank in 1909 at Head Office, Belfast. Transfers followed to Mohill, Ballycastle and Shercock. In October 1914, whilst based in Shercock branch, Kevin enlisted into the Royal Army Medical Corps as a Private. He served with the British Expeditionary Force in France and saw further action during the Suvla Bay Landings at Gallipoli and in Salonika. Later he transferred to the 2nd Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers, which had joined the 10th Irish Division in November 1916, and further action was seen in the Salonika (Struma Valley) and Palestine (Gaza and Nablus) campaigns before being demobilised in April 1919. Fitzsimons was awarded the Star, the British War Medal and the British Victory Medal. Following demobilisation, he rejoined the Northern Bank in early 1919 at Shercock. Transfers followed to Ballycastle and then back in charge of Shercock. Further transfers followed with Dowra, Shercock, Skerries, Head Office, Oldcastle and Head Office. He died in 1953 aged 62.
Lieutenant Thomas Richard Jenkins was born in Oldcastle on 5th December 1893. He was the son of Thomas F Jenkins and Mary E Jenkins who were of Church of Ireland faith. In 1911 whilst living in Moylagh, Co. Meath, Thomas joined Northern Bank, Head Office. Transfers followed with Dromore, Bailieborough and Ball’s Branch, Dublin. In October 1914, whilst he was working in Ball’s Branch, Thomas volunteered and enlisted into the Royal Dublin Fusiliers (10th Irish Division) as a Private. Jenkins saw action at Suvla Bay in the Gallipoli campaign and in the subsequent campaign against the Bulgarians in Salonika. Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in 1917 with the Durham Light Infantry and later promoted to Lieutenant in early 1919. In early 1919, Jenkins transferred to the Military Accountancy Department, India. Demobilisation came in December 1919. He was awarded the Star, the British War Medal and the British Victory Medal. Following demobilisation, Jenkins rejoined the Northern Bank in January 1920 at Head Office. Transfers followed to Ball’s Branch, Dublin, Head Office and back to Ball’s Branch, Dublin. Jenkins left the bank in 1926.
Private William Frederick Alexander Mathews was born in Dublin in 1893 and was the son of Marcus Beresford Mathews and Mrs Annie Mathews. Marcus Mathews was a bank manager and with his family lived in Henry Street, Dublin. The family were of Church of Ireland faith. In 1910, William joined Northern Bank at Ball’s branch, Dublin. The following year the family moved to Northern Bank House, Grafton Street, Dublin. In early 1914 William was transferred to Head Office in Belfast. After the outbreak of war, William volunteered and enlisted into the 7th Bn. Royal Dublin Fusiliers (10th Irish Division) as a Private. He fought in battles at Suvla Bay Landing and Chocolate Hill before being killed in action on 13th September 1915 aged 21. William was awarded the Star, the British War Medal and the British Victory Medal. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Turkey.
Research by History Hub Ulster Treasurer Gavin Bamford