Monday, April 23, 2012

British Cemetery on Ocracoke Island


Graves of four British seamen from the HMT Bedfordshire

The Soldier 

IF I should die, think only this of me;
  That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England.

Don and I found history at every turn while we wandered Ocracoke Island on our tandem bike. Such were the Halcyon days of our honeymoon. Don, who is a retired U.S. Navy submariner, was fascinated by this memorial and gravesite for four British seamen from the HMT Bedfordshire, an armed trawler that was on loan to the U.S. Navy from Britain during World War II. A German U-Boat (U558) torpedoed and sank the Bedfordshire on May 11, 1942. All hands were lost, and only these four bodies were recovered. For more pictures and information about the site and the Bedfordshire, visit Flickr.

By the time we left Ocracoke, I was duly impressed by how often over the centuries the Ocracokers have had to bury people, not only from their own community but whoever happened to drown --or be torpedoed-- off the treacherous coast. We visited the lifesaving station on nearby Portsmouth Island, but that is fodder for another post.

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