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The staff of Martins Bank has an honourable role in the two major conflicts of the Twentieth Century.  Still separate throughout the First World War, the Bank of Liverpool and Martin’s Private Bank both suffer losses, and both also have members of staff who return from the duties of serving King and Country to resuming long and full careers with the Bank.   In the Second World War the new Martins Bank Limited suffers the loss of more lives, and with the advent of mass targeted bombing, a total of SEVEN of its Branch buildings, too.  We have split our “Martins at War” feature into two separate sections of information pages, as follows: 

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The First World War


Whilst we have only a small amount of information regarding The Bank of Liverpool and from Martin’s Private Bank in the First World War, we will add more to this section as information comes to light. We feature two very similar and quite poignant letters sent by the two Banks to relatives of staff taking part in conflict. You can also find out about the involvement of Martins Bank Archive in the LIVES OF WORLD WAR ONE project, which is run under the auspices of the Imperial War Museum and attempts to tell the full life stories of everyone who fought and died, and everyone who came back to resume their life and career.  Information from many of the retirement write-ups in Martins Bank Magazine forms our contribution to this mammoth task, and already we have been able to fill in some gaps in the records and supply photographs of some of Martins Staff who served in World War One.

The Second World War


We have a selection of pages and features for the Second World War. We look at the role played by Ambleside Branch in providing a rest house for Martins Staff from all over the country to escape the War for a few days of relative peace in the Lake District. Destruction in Exeter shows the devastation of the Baedecker Air Raid on Martins’ Branch there. Gentlemen: The Ladies! Examines the roles of women who were brought in to manage Branches. We have copies of the newsletters – forerunners of Martins Bank Magazine – that kept staff around World informed of the progress of the War, and a number of special “top secrets” including Martins Bank’s arrangements for moving key offices to safe houses, the storage of part of the United Kingdom’s Gold Reserves in the vaults of Head Office, and a member of the Foreign Branch Staff who becomes the interpreter between Winston Churchill and Stalin…

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