Thursday, May 12, 2005

British Cemetery

Tomorrow at 10 am Ocracoke will again be the scene of the annual ceremony honoring four British sailors who lost their lives off the Outer Banks in May of 1942. Sub-lieutenant Thomas Cunningham, seaman Stanley Craig, and two unidentified sailors are buried in a small plot just outside the Williams cemetery on Ocracoke Island. They were serving on the "H.M.S. Bedforshire" when it was struck by a torpedo from a German U-boat.

As in years past, representatives of the British government and the U.S. coast Guard will be present, along with local and regional dignitaries.

A highlight of this year's ceremony will be the presence of Lieutenant Cunningham's son, Thomas Cunningham, Jr. Twenty-eight year old Lieutenant Cunningham died in 1942 just months before his son was born. This year marks the first time any of the Cunningham family has visited this foreign field "that is forever England," although a number of Ocracokers have initiated and maintained contact with Mrs. Cunningham and Thomas Jr. through the years.

Also present this year will be L. Vanloan Naisawald, author of the book, "In Some Foreign Field: The Story of Four British Graves on the Outer Banks."

Ocracokers are proud to honor the memories of all British sailors who gave their lives to help protect the coast of the United States during World War II.


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