Hereward Woodroffe

Bank: Westminster Bank

Place of work: Farnborough branch

Died: 15 June 1942


Hereward Norris Woodroffe was born on 16 December 1907, the son of Norman and Winifred Woodroffe. He joined the staff of Westminster Bank at its London-based Foreign branch in September 1925. He transferred to Westminster Foreign Bank in 1931, then went to Lothbury branch in 1939 and to Farnborough branch in 1941. He was also a member of the bank's staff sports club. Outside work he was a keen sailor and had even built his own small sailing boat, in reference to which his colleagues nicknamed him 'the Captain'. He was also known as ‘Woof’. 


In September 1941 Woodroffe left the bank to join the Royal Navy as an Ordinary Seaman. He served on board HMS Airedale in the Mediterranean and was one of 45 of its crew who were killed on 15 June 1942 during Operation Vigorous, when the Airedale was severely damaged and subsequently scuttled. He was 34 years old. His obituary in the bank's staff magazine noted, 'A fine character, generous-minded, warm-hearted and utterly unselfish, he had a keen brain and a strong sense of humour, and with his calm, sunny temperament he was the ideal companion in whose presence one felt at rest...his loss will be long felt. Years hence Woof’s memory will remain bright and untarnished in our minds.'


Hereward Woodroffe is commemorated on a bank war memorial at NatWest Farnborough Hampshire branch.


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