Brice Harkness served with the Auxiliary Fire Service during World War Two. He died on duty alongside colleague Archibald McDonald on 7th April 1941.
Harkness, aged 25 years old, was the first recorded death of a fireman during the Belfast Blitz. He was the son of Thomas Harkness of Lismoney, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone.
Soon after midnight, the skies over Belfast illuminated with parachute flares. Firebombs rained down and buildings like the McCue, Dick and Co. timber yard on Duncrue Street burned into the night.
During the raid, a parachute mine fell close to where Harkness and McDonald were battling the flames. Believing it to be a German pilot bailing out, the men rushed towards it. The mine exploded fatally wounding both men.
Remembering Brice Harkness
Fireman Brice Harkness’ grave is in Belfast City Cemetery, Belfast, Co. Antrim. He is commemorated at Belfast City Hall, Molesworth Presbyterian Church and on the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service memorial in Lisburn, Co. Antrim.