Saturday, May 13, 2006

64 Years Ago

Ocracoke's British Cemetery, next to the historic Howard family graveyard, is the final resting place of four sailors from Great Britain's HMT Bedfordshire, an armed trawler which was torpedoed by a German U-boat on May 11, 1942. Island residents discovered their bodies on the beach shortly after the tragedy and arranged for a fitting burial under the shade of several ancient live oak trees. Today the graves are under the care of the British War Graves Commission along with the US Coast Guard. Every spring, a memorial service is held to honor these and other brave sailors who served in WWII.

Tomorrow is the 64th anniversary of the discovery of the bodies by island natives. And yesterday was the annual memorial service. I visited the neatly tended graves last night, under the calming light of the brilliant full moon. Wreaths are placed by the fence and the British flag flies watch over the cemetery, a silent reminder of cooperation, camaraderie, dedication, bravery, and tragedy.

You can read our latest newsletter here: It's the story of Old Kade.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:04 PM

    I have read about the memorial for the British sailors for the last three years. This year my annual trip to Ocracoke coincided with the service. What a memorable service it was. Even though the events occured before I was born, the words spoken and the music played and the general feeling of the day was one of reverence and rememberance. There is something that just raises the gooseflesh when the bagpipes start their mournful whine...If anyone has the chance, they must attend the service at least once...It will not be forgotten. Judy