An old Royal Navy tradition has been revived on a historic warship in Belfast with a triple christening.
The grandchildren of two veterans who served on HMS Caroline saw the youngest members of their families christened on board the vessel on Sunday.
The ceremony, carried out by the Reverend Desmond Hanna, also saw the last use of the ship’s bell, which is now set to be preserved for display as part of the visitor tour.
Christenings on the ship have been a tradition since its arrival in Belfast in 1924.
The bell had previously been used as a baptismal font.
John Taylor, 73, from Ballymena, said it meant the world to him to see two of his grandchildren christened during a service in the ship’s Drill Hall, as his children had been.
HMS Caroline was active during the First World War, deployed in the Battle of Jutland, and also played a key role in the Second World War as the Royal Navy’s headquarters in Belfast Harbour, a key base for scores of warships which escorted the Atlantic convoys to protect them from U-boat attack.
The vessel went on to be utilised by the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve before she was officially decommissioned in 2011.
Following a campaign to conserve the ship, it was transformed into a museum based in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.
Mr Taylor served an engineer on board HMS Caroline for 29 years, joining in 1968 during the Cold War.
He met his wife on the ship and they later had their children christened on board.
“Basically I have two families – my family at home and my family on board Caroline. Caroline is part of me,” he said.
Billy McConkey, 81, from east Belfast, served on the ship for 40 years, becoming Chief Petty Officer.
He recounted first stepping on to the ship as a young man, adding that he did not imagine at that stage that he would see both his children and his grandchildren christened on it.
“It’s been great. It’s great to be a part of history on a ship with so much history,” he said.