'Comrades in the Great War'
This photograph was taken to commemorate the return of Halifax Permanent Building Society staff who had served in the war. It appeared in the November 1919 edition of the staff magazine, Round the Table.
Several of the men featured went on to have illustrious careers with the Society:
Fred Bentley (second row, third from the right) eventually became General Manager – the equivalent of Chief Executive today. Francis Lumb (third row, far right) had been the first man from head office to volunteer. He rose to the post of Chief Accountant. And Leonard Gumby - looking slightly dishevelled on the front row (second from right) - was to retire in 1948 as Manager of the Society’s London City office. He had a distinguished service record, being awarded the Military Cross in 1918.
In total, 30 staff from the Halifax served in the war. Some are absent from the group here. Two were still being demobilised. The other five, who included Norris Hallowell, had made ‘the supreme sacrifice’.
The article accompanying this photo includes a moving tribute to the dead men:
We shall miss them as long as we have memory and we shall continue to honour and appreciate the fragrant example of personal self sacrifice which they have left with us in the discharge of their duty.
All are commemorated on the Halifax staff war memorial.
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