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Remembering Maurice, 100 years on

September 6th marked an important date in the history of RBS and its people. It was on this day, 100 years ago, that Maurice Frontier became the first RBS employee to lose his life fighting in the First World War.

Throughout this year, all across the world, people will be reflecting on the cataclysmic events of the First World War, and the lives that were lost in the conflict. Here we find out more about what the conflict meant to the people of RBS.

Maurice’s story

Maurice Louis Frontier was the first of the bank’s employees to fall. He had joined London County & Westminster Bank’s Paris office when it launched in the French capital in October 1913. Maurice already had a number of years banking experience behind him.

As the French army mobilised at the beginning of the First World War, Maurice left his banking post at the portfolio department to fight for his country as a Corporal in the 246th Régiment d’Infanterie.

He was declared missing in September 1914, but it was not until the following year that it was declared that he had died in northern France at Saint-Soupplets, Seine-et-Marne, on 6 September 1914. He was 28 years old and married.

The bigger picture

Sadly, we don’t know a great deal about Maurice nor have any pictures – the image above shows Victor Jacon, another Frenchman from the RBS’ staff who survived the war, with his brothers in arms.

But Maurice’s death is symbolic in its own way, as it marked the first of some 1,582 men from our banks who served and died in the First World War. While the vast majority of these soldiers were British, the dead include four employees from the Paris office serving in the French army and one who, due to family connections, had joined the Italian forces.

Needless to say, the death of every single one was a tragedy in its own right.

You can find a tribute to each of our 1,582 First World War casualties, including Maurice Frontier, on the RBS Remembers 1914-1918 website, which explores how our constituent banks (the 30 banks that became part of the bank we are today) played their part in one of the costliest conflicts in history.

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