June 16 – Northern Ireland at D Day.

10. The lawyer and policeman who were in naval forces on the day

Thomas Quin King became the President of the Law Society.

On Day he was an RNVR Lt. Commander who had qualified as a solicitor in June 1941. He served in Landing Craft Infantry Squadrons and at the D-Day landings saw action at Juno Beach, Normandy. He ended his service as Lieutenant Commander. Aged 21 he joined as an ordinary seaman and shortly afterwards was posted for officer training, as a sub-lieutenant and then a lieutenant.

Tom King graduated in Law at QUB in 1937. He had taken first place in the final law examination and was awarded the gold medal. He was an early member of the Belfast Solicitors’ Association and later became a member of the Council of the Law Society and was elected its President in 1955.

At that time he was the youngest ever President of the Society.

Despite his active involvement in his practice and the Law Society, Tom found time also to participate in a number of other activities.

He was a member of the Council of the Belfast Old Instonians Association and its President, a member of the Board of Governors of The Royal Belfast Academical Institution, a member of the Committee of the Belfast Association for the Blind, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Trustee Savings Bank of Northern Ireland. He was President of QUB Services Club in 1982. Tom died on 28/09/2002

James Stewart served in the Royal Navy from 1941 – 46.

He took part in Operation Fuller in one of the MTB’s sent out to intercept the Brest Squadron when they forced the channel in Feb. 1942. (Operation Cerberus – which was to return them to German “home waters”).

He also made some of the early PQ runs to Russia , and was part of the naval component of the Bruneval Raid, the aim of which was to capture German radar parts and operatives.

Night actions fought against E Boats in the Channel off the Texel and D-Day were taken in their stride.

In May 1945 he was mustered as a member of a boarding party which took several U-boats from Loch Ryan to Lisahally on the Foyle.

Known as “Bob”, he was one of four brothers who served in the war , two of whom did not return. James – died when his Halifax was shot down in Sept. 1943. He is buried on Ameland, and Donald who died in Japanese hands in April 1944 having been a POW since the fall of Hong Kong.

James joined the RUC in 1946 – serving until 1976. He was severely injured by a booby trap bomb following his retirement. On recovery he returned to work for the NI Police Authority until his retirement in 1982.

A native of Londonderry, he died in 1988.

 

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