Our staff in wartime

The First World War affected all our staff, whether they went away to fight, stayed behind, or came to work in a bank for the first time.

Banks on the eve of war, 1914

Britain’s banks in 1914, before the many changes brought by the First World War, were still essentially Victorian in character.

Working in a bank in wartime, 1914-18

Every aspect of life, including working in a bank, was affected by the First World War and wartime conditions.

Volunteering, conscription and pay

As the First World War went on, banks’ attitudes to staff going on military service evolved, as did arrangements for paying them.

Serving with pals

For our men on military service in the First World War, familiar faces were often a welcome reminder of home. 

Staying in touch

Bank workers who joined up and those who stayed behind took comfort from staying in touch with each other.

Our first female staff

The hiring of women for the first time was a dramatic change, and permanently transformed the banking workforce.

First World War air raids

Being ready to protect people and property in air raids was a new responsibility for banks.

Medals and honours

Many men from our banks who served in the First World War received decorations for gallantry.

The 1918 flu pandemic

In 1918, just as the First World War was drawing to its end, a deadly flu pandemic swept the country.

Rolls of honour during the First World War

Banks were keen to remember staff who were away on active service or who had been killed.