HMS Viknor – an armed merchantman, struck a mine off Tory Island on 13 January 1915.
War graves headstones can be found on Rathlin and in the churchyards of Bonamargy and Ballintoy on the mainland.
HMS Viknor was a 5386 ton armed merchant cruiser of the 10th Cruiser Squadron, originally a Blue Star Line vessel called the ‘Viking’. She was requisitioned and renamed by the Royal Navy. She was under the Command of Commander E O Ballantyne and had a crew compliment of 22 officers and 273 ratings – these were made up of Royal Navy Reserves, 25 of whom came from the Newfoundland Division of the Royal Navy Reserves.
On January 13th, 1915 while on active patrol duty in heavy seas off Tory Island she struck a German mine and sank with the loss of all hands.
In Bonamargie Friary you will find the grave of Private. J. Griffin, PO 7084, RMLI. In Ballintoy Churchyard the grave of E.R. Hewett, RN J/27300, 1st Class Boy can be found. The following HMS Viknor crewmen are also buried in Northern Ireland: Petty Officer J R Bowering and Greaser L Ogle are buried in Larne New Cemetery and Petty Officer (2nd Class) J J Walton is buried in St Thomas Church of Ireland Graveyard on Rathlin Island.
There is a family memorial to Petty Officer (1st Class) J A Blockley in Bangor Cemetery and there are also CWGC Headstones for unknown sailors in St Thomas Church of Ireland Graveyard on Rathlin Island, Bonamargy Cemetery and Larne New Cemetery.
For more information on HMS Viknor visit: http://www.causewaycoastalroute.com/war-graves.html
Research by History Hub Ulster members Mark McCrea and Nigel Henderson.