British Cemetery Ceremony

British Cemetery, British Cemetery Road, Ocracoke

On May 11, 1942, the H.M.T. Bedfordshire sank off of Ocracoke Island’s coast. Four of the sailors found their final resting place at the British Cemetery. Each Friday in April, an annual ceremony and reception remembers those sailors and celebrates the small plot of land that’s come to be known as “forever England.” This annual event brings together people from the Ocracoke community, representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, British Royal Navy and Canadian Royal Navy for a transnational memorial made possible by the collective work of many nations. Each ceremony involves a reading of the crew list, the playing of bagpipes and a 21-gun salute. This Ocracoke annual event is open to all who wish to pay their respects at this honorable display of local culture and history.