Bank: Parr’s Bank
Place of work: Manchester York Street branch
Died: 1 July 1916
Samuel Ellison Wilde was born in Hyde, Cheshire, on 21 November 1895, the son of Samuel Wilde, a bank manager, and his wife Catherine. He was educated at Hyde Grammar School. In about 1911 Wilde followed his father into banking, taking a job with Parr's Bank. Outside work he was a keen golfer, and played regularly at his local club.
In November 1914 Wilde left his job at the bank's Manchester York Street branch to join the army, becoming a Private in the 5th (Pals') Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. He was killed in action in France on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916. He was 20 years old.
In a letter to Wilde's parents, his commanding officer noted 'How sorry we all were to lose him because of his wonderfully cheerful disposition. Wherever we were he was always the same; nothing in the way of hardships, rough weather, or shortage of food in the trenches affected his spirits in the least, and a disposition of that sort, combined with a spirit which made him always volunteer for any extra hard or dangerous work had an incalculable effect on the spirits of the whole section. It speaks volumes when I tell you that your son was known to everyone, not as Private Wilde, but as 'Sammy'.'
In its obituary, the bank's staff magazine remarked 'Although young in years his smiling open countenance, his unruffled disposition and his remarkable cheerfulness have won for him great respect, and have left an impression on his colleagues at York Street Office which will not easily be erased.'
Samuel Wilde is commemorated on a bank war memorial at NatWest Manchester City Centre branch.
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