Thursday, August 26

By Coincidence A Man Stumbles On A Missing WW2 Grave

This is a coincidence which revolves around Richard William Edwards (Bill) and his next door neighbour William Eric Killey. Two men who, like many others, took part in active service during World War II.

The story is in the words of Bill's son Philip Edwards. Here is what he writes:

William Eric Killey"I was always fascinated to hear my dad's wartime exploits. At the time, we lived in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales.

Nearly every Sunday as a child, in that limbo time after Children's Hour and Sunday Night at the London Palladium being on television, in my imagination I'd march with my dad through the desert of North Africa: me, dad and Monty.

Some nights, he'd bring out his leather wallet full of treasures from North Africa, and we'd sit down and mull through them together.

Sadly, he died in 1998. The leather wallet was passed on to me.

I used the material from the wallet to create some learning materials for my school children (I teach 10 year olds). Deep down in the wallet I found a newspaper clipping which told the story of my dad's next door neighbour, William Eric Killey, and how he was lost at sea. I added the clipping to the material because it showed that war isn't a Boy's Own Adventure, but something that is sad and serious.

Last Summer, my wife and I took a trip to the Scilly Isles. What a wonderful holiday destination. Why would anybody want to go to Spain?

Anyway, on the last day of the holiday, we walked over to Old Town and looked around the graveyard to find Harold Wilson's grave (ex UK Prime Minister). It took some finding, but eventually we found his resting place.

Then, on the way out, something really strange happened. I tripped and stumbled. My hand reached out to a gravestone to steady myself. Then I noticed the name on the grave: William Eric Killey. HMS Warwick.

Strange coincidence? Or did he want to be found?

This story is also published on WW2 Peoples' War which is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC.

Further Reading:
Bizarre 1914 Photo Coincidence
Is Afghanistan History Repeating Itself?
Coincidences Which Solved Mystery Of WW2 Giant
General Montgomery's Double

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  1. Cool story. I think he wanted to be found.

  2. What a wonderful story! Wherever I travel, I've always been drawn to graveyards. Out of all the cemeteries on planet Earth, how could he have touched the headstone of Killey?! I was struck by the rhyming of his last name with the burial place. Thank you for the link to visit more stories; I'm passing it on to other online friends interested in history.

  3. Mike, now that I've followed the link to explore Scilly Isles, I'm curious: Have y'all visited there?

  4. Mike, the link to WW2 Peoples' War is not working. Here's the one I found on google:

    wv: hosipsip