Hilda Lloyd started working for National Provincial Bank during the First World War as part of the war effort, and remained with the bank until she retired. During the Second World War, she joined the war effort again, this time with the British Red Cross.
Hilda Lloyd was born in Winchester in 1883, the youngest of at least 6 children of Thomas Lloyd, an ironmonger, and his wife Hannah. Her father died while she was still at school, and she moved to Bristol with her mother and siblings. After leaving school Hilda became a governess and worked in schools in Clifton, as did her sister Ethel. Hilda and Ethel lived with their mother for the rest of Hannah Lloyd’s life.
During the First World War Hilda became one of the large number of women working for banks as part of the war effort. She started working for National Provincial Bank in Bristol in October 1915, when she was 31, and it must have been a huge career change from her work in education. Unlike many of her contemporaries, she did not give up her job at the bank when the war ended, instead working at the same branch as a clerk until she retired in 1936 at the age of 53.
Just a few years later, as another war started, she once again joined the war effort. This time she joined the British Red Cross, and from 1939 until the war in Europe ended in 1945, she worked tirelessly as a Red Cross Staff Officer in her adopted hometown of Bristol where she was still living with her sister, Ethel. We don’t know exactly what she did for the Red Cross, but it could have included administrative office work, in which she had years of experience, but also more hands-on work such as supporting nursing staff or being part of an ambulance crew. Hilda’s work was so appreciated that in March 1946 she travelled to Buckingham Palace to be presented with a Distinguished Service Certificate by the Queen. Her photograph and an article about the presentation were published in the staff magazine of National Provincial Bank, which was proud to celebrate the wartime contribution of one of its long-serving retirees.