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British War Graves ceremony, Buxton
May 12, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pmFree
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the loss of 63 foreign sailors, who died while protecting the U.S. coast during World War II. Representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Navy, British Royal Navy and National Park Service will come together with visitors and residents at the British war graves in Buxton on May 12 starting at 11 a.m. The public is invited.
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. Two of the men are buried at the British Cemetery in Buxton: Fourth Engineer Officer Michael Cairns of the Royal Merchant Navy from the San Delfino and an unknown soldier.
A second ceremony will be held the following day at the Ocracoke British Cemetery on Ocracoke Island 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-Lieutenant Cunningham and Ordinary Telegraphist Second Class Craig are buried at the Ocracoke site. Two bodies also were found in the ocean north of Ocracoke; and although never identified, they were assumed to have come from the Bedfordshire and were interred alongside their shipmates in what would become 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.