ROYAL MARINE’S FIRST WORLD WAR GRAVE IDENTIFIED IN PADSTOW
10 August 2015
Lance Corporal William Whitmore, Royal Marines, served as a
Gunner on armed merchant ships during the First World War. On 23
July 1918 he was serving aboard the SS Anna Sofie when it was
torpedoed off Trevose head, Cornwall. William was killed during the
attack and was believed to have been lost at sea. After the war
William was commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
However, Padstow Museum Chairman John Buckingham and Sussex based
historian Peter Smith, came across the grave of an Unknown Royal
Marine in Padstow Cemetery and became determined to identify the
occupant. They painstakingly gathered evidence which proved that
William's body had been washed ashore and buried in Padstow as the
Unknown Royal Marine.
Isobel Pope, William's Granddaughter, said: "We could never have
imagined this happening after all these years but it is wonderful
we now know his true resting place."
"The whole family would like to thank the town of Padstow, for
taking care of my grandfather when he was found and keeping him
until we were brought together again."
"Thanks also to Peter Smith and John Buckingham who did a great
deal of work to bring this to a wonderful end, without them we
would never have known."
A service to dedicate the new headstone to William will take place
at 1400hrs on 11 August 2015 at Padstow Cemetery, Cornwall. The
service will be conducted by The Revd T Thomas-Botwood from Royal
Navy Air Station Culdrose. It will be attended by several members
of William's family, representatives from The Royal Marines and
local dignitaries. The service has been arranged by the
Ministry of Defence's Commemorations team, with the Commonwealth
War Grave Commission arranging the manufacture and installation of
the new headstone.
For more information, contact: Peter Francis on 01628 507163 or
07766 255884 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org