If you will be on the island this Friday, May 11, be sure to attend the 11 a.m. annual ceremony remembering the crew of Her Majesty's Armed Trawler, the Bedfordshire, which was torpedoed by a German submarine seventy years ago off the Outer Banks. All thirty-seven crew members died in the attack. Four bodies were recovered and buried on Ocracoke Island near the Williams family graveyard. The Union Jack flies over this small plot, the British Cemetery, which is considered "a corner of a foreign field that is forever England" (Rupert Brooke). Among the four bodies buried there are Sub-Lt. Thomas Cunningham, telegrapher Stanley Craig, and two unidentified seamen.
This year Cunningham's son, who was born after his father died, will be on the island to attend the ceremony which recognizes, not only the crew of the Bedfordshire, but all allied sailors who gave their lives in defense of our borders.
The ceremony is always a moving experience, a tribute to the servicemen who defended our shores, and to the islanders, Coast Guardsmen, and members of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum who have maintained the cemetery for seventy years and who keep alive the memories of these brave men.
You can read more here:
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Project Nutmeg, and how Ocracoke almost became a site for testing nuclear weapons. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042112.htm.