September 28. NI RN crew signed Ulster Covenant in China. Roll of Honour

Eight NI naval men signed the Ulster Covenant in China in HMS Monmouth. They included these three. John Bleakley from Ballynure St., Belfast, who joined the navy as a Boy Sailer. He died 01/11/1914, age 33, in the Battle of Coronel off South America. Petty Officer James Gilchrist from Ardglass survived the war. He was an active member of Masonic Lodge 172 in Ardglass. Fred Ferguson later served in the Royal Naval Air Service before transferring to the RAF on 31/03/1918. In today’s Roll, there are two pairs of brothers who died in the First WW. William Harkin from Dunadry died this day in 1916. His younger brother Andrew, who enlisted with him was killed in action three months earlier on 01/07/1916. Both brothers are commemorated on the Rolls of Honour at St John’s Parish Church Donegore and Muckamore Presbyterian Church. William McCartney from Newtowncrommelin died in 1918. He was the brother of James (died of wounds) and John (wounded and discharged). The veteran remembered today is the exemplary Thomas Quin King, a naval reservist who gave exceptional service during the D-Day landings and post-war was a leader in the legal profession as well as giving his time to several charities and good causes including his old school RBAI. In 1955 he became the youngest ever President of the Law Society.

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