A scaled-back British Cemetery Ceremony will go on Friday at 11 a.m. and while the preferred location is at the cemetery itself, it may be moved indoors at the last minute, the Ocracoke Observer reported.
Update 2:30 p.m. Wednesday: The North Carolina Maritime Museum announced that members of the Ocracoke community are moving forward with plans for a ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday at the British cemetery there. Rain location is Ocracoke School gym. Contact Sundae Horn at email@example.com.
Update 11:30 a.m. Wednesday: The North Carolina Maritime Museum system has canceled the ceremonies scheduled for May 12 in Buxton and May 13 in Ocracoke due to weather conditions.
The annual public ceremonies on the Outer Banks honoring the sacrifice of foreign sailors who died protecting the United States coast during World War II will resume this month after a two-year hiatus.
Two British war graves ceremonies are planned. The first ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. May 12 at the British Cemetery in Buxton and the second at the Ocracoke British Cemetery at 11 a.m. May 13.
Representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Navy, British Royal Navy and National Park Service, visitors and residents will be in attendance.
The North Carolina Maritime Museum system provided information about the two ceremonies.
The Buxton ceremony honors the service of the men who lost their lives in April 1942 when the British armed tanker San Delfino was sunk by the U-203 just off Pea Island. Buried at the British Cemetery in Buxton are Fourth Engineer Officer Michael Cairns of the Royal Merchant Navy from the San Delfino and an unknown soldier.
The second ceremony at the Ocracoke British Cemetery is to pay tribute to the sailors from the HMS Bedfordshire, which was destroyed in May 1942 by German submarine U-558 near the island. The bodies of Sub-Lt. Cunningham and Ordinary Telegraphist Second Class Craig are buried at the Ocracoke site. Additionally, two bodies were found in the ocean north of Ocracoke that were never identified. Assumed to be from the Bedfordshire, the two were interred alongside their shipmates in what is now the Ocracoke British Cemetery.
The ceremonies are organized by the Friends of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, the Ocracoke community, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
For more information call 252-986-0721 or visit graveyardoftheatlantic.com.