Basil Hart

Bank: Westminster Bank

Place of work: Walton-on-Thames branch

Died: 10 March 1943


Basil Graham Hart was born on 18 January 1922, the son of John Bush Hart, a banker, and his wife Bessie Louisa. He joined the staff of his father’s bank, Westminster Bank, in May 1939, working at its Walton-on-Thames branch. A bank colleague later recalled, 'he showed exceptional promise and quickly endeared himself to all by his cheerfulness, keenness and unfailing good humour.'


Hart was too young for military service at the outbreak of war, but he later left the bank to join the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, training as a navigator.


Sergeant Hart was killed in an accidental plane crash in Yorkshire on 10 March 1943. He was 21 years old. His father, by that time a member of staff at the bank's London Lothbury head office, composed these lines in tribute to him:


May the Flight that he made
Be flown not in vain
May the Love that he bore
Give joy again
May the life that he gave
Be undying fame
May the heart that was gold
A dear memory remain
May the Grace of the Lord
Our grief sustain.

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