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HB Accountants’ History – Chapter 2: The War Years

As we celebrate our 100th birthday, we thought it would be fun to look back at the history of HB Accountants. You can read Chapter 1 – our birth – here, or read about how the 2nd World War impacted us here:

The outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 brought huge changes to the country and to HB Accountants. The partners were too old to fight this time, but their two clerks, Arthur Palmer and Rolie Russell were of the right age to be called up, however, as they had been made partners in the firm and as many of HB’s clients were involved in essential services, such as manufacturing aircraft parts, they were exempted from military service.

When bombing over London increased in 1940, many bookkeeping files and ledgers were moved to Northwood for safe keeping. The hours were long and in April 1941, Beevor’s son, Berry, left school a year early to learn the trade, before being mobilised to the Fleet Air Arm where pink gin cost 2d a measure at the club!

FUN FACT: Berry Hardcastle later played for Wasps Rugby Football Club

A number of Team HB back in the forties were active in the war. Bernard Kimble, known as Bunny, joined HB in 1935 after leaving school before being called into the army in 1939. He was taken prisoner by Rommel’s Africa Corp and was a prisoner of war from 1940-45 first in Northern Italy and then in Germany. He returned to HB once he was liberated and passed his exams, but we understand that he had a very difficult time whilst a prisoner. He eventually married Beatrice Cole, Beevor’s secretary (the first of three HB Weddings!!)

Interestingly, profits increased over this time, possibly because so many fighting-age men and women were called up to support the war effort, and those businesses that survived, had the chance to flourish.

Quote for the day: “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength” – Sigmund Freud

Chapter 3 to follow soon…


HB Accountants are here to help: giving you access to experienced accountants and useful information and support no matter your business size or sector. If you would like a no obligation discussion about how we can help you and your business, please feel free to contact the team on 01992 444466.  We’re accountants for business and we’re here to help you grow.

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