MARTINS BANK LIMITED
Staff Manager’s Department
6th March 1942
To the Staff
Ladies and Gentlemen
In these days, increasingly strenuous for all of us, it is a pleasure to turn again to events of a personal nature and to write a brief letter in an endeavour to keep you in touch with the general life of the Bank. Personal matters are especially in my mind just now as I attempt to deal with the problems created by the further calls for National Service.
You are all aware of the decisions of the Ministry of Labour regarding man and woman power in Banks. It seems certain that a number of our lady colleagues will be taken from us during the ensuing months and a further 300 of our remaining men colleagues are shortly to be released.for H.M. Forces. To those of you whose lot it will be to go I offer on my own behalf and in the name of those who will remain every good wish. May your safe and victorious return be not long delayed.
News of members now serving in various parts of the world reaches us from time to time. Their letters are uniformly cheerful though their well understood desires to return to their family circles and to the Bank invariably find expression. It is most interesting to read of their experiences. H. C. Bradwell of Sowerby Bridge has recently written telling of his life whilst serving on a minesweeper off the East Coast. He mentioned that serving at his base is G.E.E. Bromley Martin of Cocks Biddulph to whose resource and skill he pays generous tribute. B. Rowbotham of Ainsdale is also serving at sea and in a letter received a few weeks ago he says that during his travels he had eight days leave in the United States, during which time he and two of his friends travelled 1200 miles on the "hitch hike" principle. The itinerary included such places as Richmond (Virginia) Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. He spoke enthusiastically of his experiences and of the genuine friendship of the American people. Others from whom letters and greetings have been received include G. V. Keiller of Liverpool Foreign in Bermuda, A. H. Birse of London Foreign in Kuibyshev and E.D.R. Whittaker of Guildford in Iceland. P.J. Daffey of Cocks Biddulph writes from his prisoner of war camp and in his letter states that he is "of course working but not on office work". He adds that he is fit and well and refers with gratitude to parcels he has received from his office friends and through the American Red Cross. It is known that our colleagues who are prisoners of war are receiving parcels of food from our old friends and correspondents Brown Brothers Harriman & Company, on whose behalf the American Red Cross are handling the matter.
Some of you may have heard a recent talk over the air in the Forces programme by J.W.T. Lashmar, formerly of Southport, when he gave a vivid account of the invasion of Crete where he was serving with the Royal Artillery.
It is with great regret that I have to announce that the following have lost their lives in action since ny last letter: R. L. Newell of Luddendenfoot killed whilst flying, J.R. Constance of Heaton Mersey killed at sea and Eric Twelves of Brown Street killed whilst flying. It is also officially announced that Norman Baron, D.F.M. of Blackpool, previously reported missing, must now be presumed dead. D.D. Porter of Heywoods, Liverpool, who was discharged from, the R.A.F. on health grounds, died in November last. Your sympathy will be freely extended to the relatives of these colleagues.
I also regret to have to let you know that J.P. Rowntree of Bexley Heath and T.P. Wright of Swinton, both of the R.A.F. are missing. The following members previously reported missing are now known to be prisoners.of war – H.W Warwick of Millfield, G. F. Halliwell of Central (Liverpool) and F. J. Pinnell of the London messenger staff. It is gratifying to be able to report their safety. Colleagues in the London District who remember T.W. Piper at Eltham Branch prior to his resignation in 1936 may be interested to know that he has been awarded the Air Force Cross, but unfortunately he is now a prisoner.
Rest periods have now begun and I hope it will be possible to maintain these without interruption. It is certain that heavier burdens will fall on those who remain in the Bank and I know these will be cheerfully borne. It is an arresting fact that after the end of this month 55% of the August 1939 male staff will have gone or will be available to go for service with the Armed Forces. A reasonable amount of replacement has taken place, and to those ladies and gentlemen who have joined the Staff in a temporary capacity since my last informal letter, I offer a welcome.