• This is a past event. We will update next upcoming event details as soon as they are available.

In mid-May, representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Navy, British Royal Navy, and National Park Service come together at the British Cemeteries on Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island to honor the 63 foreign sailors who perished while protecting our coast.

The ceremonies are held every year near the anniversary of the sinking of the HMS Bedfordshire, with the first ceremony scheduled for May 11 at 11:00 a.m. in Buxton, and the second ceremony scheduled for May 12 at 11:00 a.m. in Ocracoke village. The Buxton ceremony honors the service of the men who lost their lives in April of 1942 when the British-armed tanker San Delfino was sunk by a German submarine, U-203, just off the shoreline of Pea Island. Two of the men are buried at the British Cemetery in Buxton: Fourth Engineer Officer Michael Cairns of the Royal Merchant Navy from the San Delfino, and an unknown sailor.

Both the Ocracoke and Buxton British Cemeteries also remain open to the public daily for those who would like to pay their respects. The Buxton British Cemetery is located on Lighthouse Road in Buxton, just past the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, while the Ocracoke British Cemetery is located on British Cemetery Road off of N.C. Highway 12 near Silver Lake Harbor.