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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many of members of staff of our constituent banks were awarded military decorations and medals of service throughout the Second World War for acts of bravery and exceptional service towards the war effort.