Alice K Rondthaler, Photo Collection Ocracoke Preservation Society.PNG

The British Cemetery at Ocracoke

The tiny British graveyard on Ocracoke Island contains four graves, two of which are marked “Unknown.” A third bears the name of Lt. Thomas Cunningham, and the fourth that of Stanley R. Craig, A.B. The words “Royal Navy” and “Body found May 14, 1942” are inscribed on all four of the bronze plaques on concrete crosses erected at the time of burial. All bodies are identified as members of the crew of HMS Bedfordshire which disappeared with all aboard en route from Norfolk to Morehead City, its temporary “home” port. Rites at Ocracoke were held by the late Amasa Fulcher, prominent layman of the local Methodist Church. A year later, at Mrs. Cunningham’s request, a Catholic service was held by the Navy chaplain, then stationed at Ocracoke. Land for the British burials was given by Mrs. Alice Wahab Williams near the Williams family graveyard. Markers were made by the T.A. Loving Construction Co., then building the Navy base nearby. A commemorative service is held each year in May.