Wednesday, June 3, 2009

British Cemetery

The updates have been slow in coming, I know.  The thesis is still consuming most of my time.  I did take a day off this past Saturday to drive to Ocracoke.   I wanted to check out some of the lighthouses and, of course, cemeteries along the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  It was a nice trip, certainly worth the time!  While I was in Ocracoke I stopped by the British Cemetery.

The cemetery is both a cemetery, containing the remains of 4 British sailors, and a memorial to the crew of the HMT Bedfordshire. 

The Bedfordshire was an anti-submarine trawler on loan to the United States and tasked with patrolling the coast in order to stop submarine attacks.  She was sunk by a German submarine off Ocracoke Island.  4 bodies washed ashore and were recovered by the residents of the island.  Two bodies were identified, the other two remain unidentified to this day.  They were buried in a small plot of land.  In honor of their sacrifice, a lease for the plot was given to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission so the sailors would be in a British Cemetery.  The cemetery was originally maintained by the people of Ocracoke Village, and is now maintained by the US Coast Guard Ocracoke Station.  A small plaque on the site bears a few lines from a poem by British poet Rupert Brooke:

If I should die think only this of me
that there's some corner of a foreign field
that is forever England

If you are in the area, pay the cemetery a visit.  It’s located off a side street, and there is a small parking lot.  There are a few more photos on flickr.  It’s past Memorial Day, but check out the memorials and cemeteries in your area.  These sites not only memorialize the fallen, they also reveal how those who erected the monuments wanted the dead to be remembered. 

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: