Throughout the years, the waters off Ocracoke Island have witnessed the sinking of many ships. During the height of the German submarine campaign on May 14, 1942, the HMS Bedfordshire was torpedoed and sunk with all hands lost. Four bodies of the crew were subsequently found and buried on Ocracoke. Two of the gravesites are marked "unknown" and the other two bear the remains of Thomas Cunningham and Stanley R. Craig.
The well-tended graveyard with bronze plaques on concrete crosses and surrounded by a white picket fence still stands today as a memorial to the Royal Navy. These young men are memorialized in a plaque with the words of Robert Brooke: "If I should die think only this of me that there's some forever corner of a foreign field that is forever England."