Banking on memories

Popped into the High Street branch of National Westminster Bank today to do some business and walked past a touching wreath of Remembrance Day poppies beneath a brass plaque that honoured bank staff who had died during the First World War.

nat west bankIt pays tribute to the 2,681 members of  ‘the staff of this bank who served in the Great War’……. and ‘in honoured memory of the 415 who gave their lives for their country.’

The plaque bears the initials ‘N.P. & U.B.E’  which l have discovered refers to the National Provincial and Union Bank of England which was rated as one of the big five banks before it merged into National Westminster in 1970. It remains a registered company – though dormant.

The original National Provincial Bank  was a British retail bank covering England and Wales. Bath was one of the first places to get a branch in 1834 – along with Gloucester and Wotton Under Edge. By 1836 there were 32 branches.nat west bank

The memorial plaque to the 1914-18 War is interesting in that the National Provincial took over the Union of London and Smith’s Bank in 1918, so the tribute in bronze to their staff was one of the first to bear the full name of the new company. I have no idea why the plaque is in Bath. Perhaps someone who does can help.

There is more about Bath’s history of banking on the following Royal Bank of Scotland link.