May 10th, 2024. 11:00 am|
Ocracoke British Cemetery
British Cemetery Ceremony
The annual Ocracoke British Cemetery ceremony is scheduled for Friday, May 10, 2024.
Time & Location
May 10th, 2024. 11:00 am
Ocracoke British Cemetery, 234 British Cemetery Rd, Ocracoke, NC 27960, USA
About the event
2024 marks the 82th anniversary of the sinking of H.M.T. Bedfordshire off the North Carolina coast
on May 11, 1942. All are welcome to attend the graveside memorial ceremony and reception that follows
on the grounds of the OPS Museum. Representatives from the British Royal Navy and Royal Canadian
Navy will be in attendance, as well as members of the United States Coast Guard, the Commonwealth
War Graves Commission, and students from Ocracoke School.
The annual graveside ceremony traces its ties to the Ocracoke community back to May 1942, when an
island family donated the land for the cemetery and honored the men with a burial service. The British
Cemetery site continues to resonate with island residents for its historical significance, and it has also
become an important stop for visitors to pay their respects. The Ocracoke community, the U.S. Coast
Guard, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the Friends of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum have worked
together to care for the gravesites and honor these British sailors each year since 1942.
Donations from the public contribute to landscaping the garden area and hosting the luncheon. The U.S.
Coast Guard, aided by local and visiting volunteers, provides the physical labor at the site, overseen by a
local representative of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. An Ocracoke restaurant caters the
luncheon, which is served by community volunteers. The luncheon will be at the Ocracoke Community Center.