The four original crosses were placed back
in the vicinity of the British Cemetery in an arrangement that will
include a plaque with the names and to honor all of the British sailors
that lost their lives on the HMT Bedfordshire with only the sea as their
Above we have shown a pictural view of how
far the Cemetery has come since 1942 and World War II to this year,
First I want to thank all of the
organizations, Peter N. Stone, USCG Ret and others who have helped to
maintain the cemetery for over a half century. Also, to thank them for
their continued help to honor these young men who lost their lives
defending our shores and ships during World War II.
A special thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard who
has always been there to assist and to assure these men are not
forgotten and Peter Stone who carried on the care while he was stationed
here in the Coast Guard and even after he retired.
I commend and thank Commander Christopher J.
Olin, United States Coast Guard Group Cape Hatteras, BM1 Michael R.
Perkins, U.S. Coast Guard Station Ocracoke and their men and women along
with Mr. Joseph K. Schwarzer, Executive Director, Graveyard of the
Atlantic Museum and his staff, for a job well done to preserve the
memory of these men forever. Also, thank you to the Commonwealth War
Graves Commission who permitted the crosses to be placed outside of the
cemetery with a plaque to honor all of the men of the HMT Bedfordshire.
The relocation of the original crosses and the cemetery care and upkeep
is certainly outstanding and something all of your people can be proud
of along with all of the people of Ocracoke and our visitors from Canada
Thank you to the Ocracoke Preservation
Society that in 1983 took on as one of its first projects under
President, David Esham who along with his staff set out to preserve the
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was
in the process of replacing all of the grave markers for their people
who were buried on foreign soil so that the markers would all be alike.
They had hired Clifton and Clifton Monument & Sandblasting, Elizabeth
City, NC to set the new grave markers and to destroy the crosses. David
Esham and his staff wrote letters, made trips to Raleigh and contacted
the Commonwealth War Graves Commission who were reluctant, but finally
allowed the Ocracoke Preservation Society to keep the original crosses.
Thank you David for the twelve or so years you kept the crosses at your
Pony Island Motel when the Preservation Society did not have a
building. The crosses were stored under the Preservation Society Museum
about the time the new section was added to keep them out of the weather
in the 1990s until this year.
Also, thank you to President Janey Jacoby of
the Ocracoke Preservation Society and her staff who have permitted us to
re-establish the crosses in a location where they can still pay honor to
those British sailors who gave their lives protecting our freedom.
“There are no roses on sailors’ graves,
Nor wreaths upon the storm tossed waves,
No last post from the Royals band,
No heartbroken words carved on stone,
Just shipmates bodies floating there alone.
The only tributes are the seagull’s sweeps,
And the teardrop when a loved one weeps.”
Many thanks to the Commonwealth War Graves
Commission, Ottawa, Canada for their continued support.