The UVF H.Q. Staff (Part 3)

Acting Quarter Master General Z4 was Captain Wilfred Bliss Spender. Born at Plymouth in 1876, his military career saw him at one stage the youngest staff officer in the British Army.  He signed the British Covenant, and as a result of his conviction on the Ulster question was pressurised to resign from the army. He obtained legal advice from Edward Carson on the matter and subsequently was permitted instead to retire. At Carson’s invitation he took up the role as Acting (but effectively performing the full role) Quarter Master General. It was Spender who said ‘I am not an Ulsterman but yesterday, the 1st July… I felt that I would rather be an Ulsterman than anything else in the world’.

Captain Frank Hall (Z5) was born in 1876 at Narrow Water Castle, the younger half brother of Captain Roger Hall. He was instrumental in reviving the Irish Unionist Club Movement in order to ‘bring in the staunch Unionists who are not Orangemen’, and became Military Secretary of the U.V.F. upon its formation. Hall was active in importing weapons with Fred Crawford early in the Home Rule Crisis, and was one of the few who knew full details of the Larne operation. During the war he became a member of British military intelligence, later rising to 5th in MI5 with the code name ‘Q’ of James Bond fame.

Political Secretary was Richard Dawson Bates. Born 1876 in County Down and educated at Coleraine Academical Institution, he became a practising solicitor in 1900. Appointed the secretary of the Ulster Unionist Council upon its formation in 1905, and remained in the role until 1921. He was an instrumental figure behind the scenes in terms of the organisation of the Ulster Covenant and Ulster Day, and on the 5th April 1913 he was appointed as the Political Secretary of the Head Quarters Staff U.V.F. and issued badge Z7. He was founder and Honourable Secretary to both the Ulster Volunteer Force Hospitals and the Ulster Volunteer Patriotic Fund.

Z10 Alexander William Hungerford (Z10) was born in Belfast 1884 and educated at the Model School. An accountant, he joined the full time staff of the Unionist Party in 1912, and signed the Ulster Covenant at Belfast City Hall. He became a member of the H.Q. Staff on 11th April 1913 at the age of 32. He later would fulfil the role of U.U.C. Secretary from 1921 to 1941. Represented Belfast Oldpark at Stormont from 1929, when he was also knighted, until 1945; and was also secretary to the Ulster Unionist Labour Association. During his career he held important positions in the Ministries of Finance, Home Affairs, Health and Local Government.

In part 4- Craig, Crawford, Hickman, Campbell…

1 Comment

  1. U.V.F. O. 136.
    BRONZE METAL BADGE. Headquarters’ Staff Bronze Metal Badge. “Z 7,” has been lost. All ranks are warned that such Organization Number is now struck out, and Bronze Metal Badge, “Z 23.” has been issued in place of the missing one. If this Badge is found, it should be re turned at once to Headquarters, as no person is authorized to be in possession of the same except the original owner.

    14th November 1914

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