british wwII sacrifice recalled on ocracoke island
The Battle of the Atlantic was a very real part of Outer Banks life in 1942 with over 70 ships sunk by German U-Boats over the course of the year. The bravery of our Canadian and British allies are still remembered. Cemeteries on Ocracoke and Hatteras Island have been ceded in perpetuity to the British government so the sailors interred there are buried in their native soil. This article by Connie Leinbach of the Island Free Press describes the May 11 commemorative ceremony on Ocracoke Island.
“Staging for the Battle of the Atlantic took place in Canada. For 72 years, Ocracoke has remembered the four British sailors whose bodies washed ashore after a U-boat on May 11, 1942, torpedoed the HMT Bedforshire, a British trawler pressed into military service to ferry supplies.
Two of the sailors were identified: Sub-Lieutenant Thomas Cunningham and Ordinary Telegraphist Second Class Stanley Craig.
The people of Ocracoke rallied and donated the land on which the four are interred and which is now owned by Great Britain. Four other British sailors are interred in a second cemetery in Buxton and were remembered the day before the Ocracoke event. These are the only World War II British cemeteries in the United States.”