During the early days of World War II the shipping lanes along our East Coast became known, sorrowfully, as “Torpedo Alley”. Unescorted, many ships and crews carrying war materiel to Britain were the victims of German U-boats. Early on 12 May, 1942 HMT Bedfordshire, on anti-submarine patrol, was added to this list, torpedoed and sunk with all hands.
The bodies of four seamen from Bedfordshire washed up on Ocracoke shore, and were buried in what became known as British Cemetery, later ceded to the United Kingdom and tended by U.S. Coast Guard personnel.
Each May there is a memorial service, attended by representatives of The U.S., Britain, Canada and Germany. This year the ceremony will be held on 13 May. Should you be among those fortunate enough to be here, do plan to attend. You’ll never forget it.