Ocracoke, North Carolina: British Cemetery on U.S. Soil

Only four graves, of British seamen whose bodies washed ashore after their ship was sunk by Nazi U-boats on May 11, 1942.

234 British Cemetery Rd, Ocracoke, NC
From Manteo take 64 East until you arrive at the Intersection of Hwy 12. Take 12 South. Take the Hatteras/Ocracoke ferry across the channel. Once you're on the island of Ocracoke take US-12 South into town. Follow signs for "British Cemetery" and look for the Union Jack on the flagpole.
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HMT Bedfordshire torpedoed memorial.

British Cemetery on U.S. Soil

Very well maintained, except the British flag should be replaced, as it's a little fringed around the edges.

[Veronica, 08/16/2021]


British Cemetery on U.S. Soil

Every May on the anniversary, a wreath-laying ceremony takes place. In 1983, the original crosses were replaced by "regulation British grave markers." The crosses were saved from being destroyed and were returned to be displayed near the site in 2001.

[Babs Leather, 05/15/2018]

British Cemetery on U.S. Soil.

British Cemetery on U.S. Soil

My wife and I stopped by here on our way up the Outer Banks. We brought our bikes and got to the cemetery rather easily. There is a large plaque reading "In memory of the HMT Bedfordshire and its crew" and listing the names of each crewman lost.

[Steve, 01/13/2013]

British graves.

British Cemetery on US Soil

This is a gem, a real "over there over here".. at the start of WWII the Brits assisted the US by sending some boats to look for and attack German U-Boats which were blowing up ships at random off the East Coast.

On May 11, 1942 the HMS Bedfordshire was sunk by a U-boat off the NC coast. All hands were lost. Only four bodies were found. The first two bodies could be identified but the second two could not (but it was certain they were crew members).

Since there was a wartime shortage of wood, coffins could not be built, so the men were buried in wooden crates that washed ashore after the sinking.

A local family donated a small portion of their family plot and the four seamen were buried on Ocracoke Island, NC. The plot of land was later donated to the British government and a Union Jack (donated each year from the town of Plymouth, England) flies overhead. One plaque reads: "If I should die think only this of me. That there's some corner of a foreign field that is forever England." The graves are maintained by the US Coast Guard.

[Greg Brown, 09/23/2000]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Graveyard of the Atlantic MuseumGraveyard of the Atlantic Museum, Hatteras, NC - 17 mi.
Outer Banks Futuro HouseOuter Banks Futuro House, Frisco, NC - 23 mi.
The Cora Witch TreeThe Cora Witch Tree, Frisco, NC - 24 mi.
In the region:
World Record Largest Blue Marlin, Nags Head, NC - 53 mi.

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