Martins Bank Archive is one of a number of collections to have been asked to share information with LIVES OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR, which is run under the auspices of the Imperial War Museum. The aims of this project are simple, but far reaching – slowly but surely they are piecing together the lives of those who fought for their country in the First World War. These are lives, some of which were lived long and full, others cut short by the dreadful theatre of war and the futile loss of so many young men with hopes dreams and talents that went to waste. For our small part in this mammoth collection of information, we are providing details of some members of Martins Staff who served in the Great War, and came back to civilian life to resume their jobs with the Bank. This is thanks to the forward thinking of Martins Bank Magazine who celebrated the careers of hundreds of the Bank’s employees by printing retirement tributes and photographs. When added to the timeline information on the Lives of the First World War site, these tributes provide valuable information about the character, colleagues friends and relatives of Staff Members, and in many cases this information will be seen for the first time by their descendants researching their family tree, or looking into the part their loved one played in serving their country.
“The war to end war” is still one of the worst losses of life through conflict that our World has known, with individual family tragedies running into millions. As we remember the sacrifices made by those who fought for our Country in World War I, we are indebted to Lynette Mann, for allowing us to display what is both a rare relic of Martin’s Private Bank, and a sad and poignant reminder of the horrors of the War. The first of the two letters below is written in 1917, a year before the merger of Martin’s Private Bank and the Bank of Liverpool. The recipient is Lynette’s husband’s grandfather, and the letter expresses the condolence of the Manager and Staff at 68 Lombard Street on the death in action of his son, who has been previously highly commended. We are also indebted to Barclays who have sent us a letter written by the Bank of Liverpool, in 1916, which is addressed to a member of Staff - A K Milliken - on active service. The letter expresses the Bank’s hopes for the safe return of Mr Milliken…
Lynette is a keen genealogist, and it is great to see that this precious family heirloom has been so well kept. The letter heading contains the familiar telegraphic address of 68 Lombard Street “CICALA London”, and is the only example we have so far seen of a letter from the bank in mauve ink. It is also interesting to see one of the last deptictions of the Grasshopper logo before it joins forces with the Liver Bird. The closing phrase in both letters - Yours very truly - will be familiar to Barclays customers, as it is actually used by them in most correspondence as late as the mid 1980s, in preference to the more usual “Yours sincerely/faithfully”.