Bank: National Provincial Bank of England
Place of work: Newcastle, Staffs branch
Died: 20 July 1917
Thomas Russell Bland was born in Shropshire on 9 December 1896, the son of William Bland, a farmer, and his wife Alice. He was educated at The Old Hall School, Wellington, Shropshire, and at Aldenham School.
Bland's mother had a relative who was manager of National Provincial Bank of England's branch in Newcastle, Staffordshire. Through this family connection, Bland was appointed to an apprenticeship there. He started work in March 1913, when he was 16 years old. In a report at the end of his three-year apprenticeship, his manager noted that he was 'a well-mannered youth of good appearance...quick and accurate, with good application...should do well in the bank's service.' By then, however, Bland was already away on military service.
In 1915, 18-year-old Bland joined the army, and in August 1916, after training in the Inns of Court Officers Training Corps, he was commissioned into the North Staffordshire Regiment.
In July 1917 Second Lieutenant Thomas Russell Bland was in France, leading a raid on an enemy trench, when he was seen to fall. Patrols were subsequently unable to find his body, and it was hoped that he might have been taken prisoner, but eventually - in January 1919 - it was concluded that he had indeed been killed on or after 20 July 1917. He was 20 years old.