Bankier, Ian Patrick

Ian Patrick Bankier was born on 9th August 1921, one of twin sons of Albert and Margaret Bankier, of Sheffard Woodlands, Newbury, Berkshire and later of Court Hill House, Letcombe Regis, Berkshire.  From his father’s first marriage, the twins had two half-brothers, Albert Methuen Bankier  (F 1907-12) and Allan Arthur Bankier (F 1911-1916).  They also had a sister, Jean.   Ian (known as Pip) and slightly the elder of the two, and his twin brother Michael, came to Winchester in January 1935 from Horris Hill.   The twins both played a great part in a number of football and cricket matches.  Ian was on Dress for VI in 1938 and in Soccer XI and Lords in 1939.  They became House Prefects in January 1939.

After leaving Winchester they both taught for two terms at Elstree School.   They trained together at Caterham, and in March 1941 were commissioned into the Welsh Guards.  After service in England with the 3rd Battalion, commanded  by their half-brother Albert (by the end of the war Lieutenant Colonel  A M Bankier DSO., OBE., MC) and then with the 1st, they re-joined the 3rd Batallion, by now in Italy, in January 1944.

Ian Bankier was in No 2 Company which came under attack almost immediately and early in February the battalion found itself in exposed positions on the slopes of Monte Furlito, to the west of the Garigliano River.   Conditions were severe, the terrain difficult and the cold and lack of water meant that the men were issued with leather jerkins and encouraged not to shave.  “When they finally left the mountains, they looked more like members of an Arctic expedition than a Guards battalion”.  The cold caused casualties as well and the commanding officer was ordered off the mountain and replaced by a Wykehamist, Major D G Davies-Scourfield (B 1924-1930), who was himself disguising a badly poisoned foot.

No 2 Company had been ordered to reconnoitre Monte Piccolo.    After climbing up through olive trees, and in spite of many casualties, they had nearly reached the top of the hill, when they came under heavy machine gun fire.  The OC, Major Cobbold and several other members of the platoon had been killed.  The remainder could get no further in the face of the enemy fire.   Bankier, who had assumed command, saw the necessity of putting the enemy positions out of action and encouraged the men to push on, all the while being caught in cross fire.  Realising they were hopelessly outnumbered with the few men left, he ordered a withdrawal, during which he was killed.   Major J F Ellis, in his “Welsh Guards at War 1939-1946” Gale & Polden 1946, recorded that Lieutenant Davis, the only other officer left and himself wounded, got away largely due to the efforts of Lieutenant Bankier, who with five men, half surrounded at the highest point reached in the attack, and were killed covering the withdrawal of their comrades.

Ian Bankier is buried in Grave VII.J.8 of the Cassino War Cemetery, marked by an inscription added later by his family:   To the undying memory Of our darling Pip Who fell at Monte Piccolo. Mum


War: World War 2

  • Surname: Bankier
  • Forenames or initials: Ian Patrick
  • House: B
  • Years in School: 1935-1939
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Welsh Guards
  • Date of Birth: 9th August 1921
  • Date of Death: 27th May 1944
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner A2
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Cassino War Cemetery: Grave VII.J.8