Gloucestershire

Mystery visitor to boy's grave in Gloucestershire, sought by sister

Ann Kear, Gloucestershire
Image caption Flowers and poems have been appearing on the grave of 12-year-old Karl Smith in Gloucestershire, for the last 20 years

A mystery person who has been tending a boy's grave in Gloucestershire is being sought by his sister.

Karl Smith was just 12 when he drowned on a scouting trip in 1947. He was buried at St Mary's Church in Prestbury near Cheltenham.

For the last 20 years flowers and poems have been appearing on his grave, according to his sister Ann Kear.

She said: "They're never signed, so someone wishes to remain incognito but I would love to speak to them."

Ms Kear's brother was on a scouting trip to Oxwich Bay near Swansea in August 1947, when the troop stopped at a village and were instructed not to go in the water.

"Boys being boys, they apparently saw the sea, wanted to get in and so they were in," she said.

"But when they got them back out, there was one missing and that was Karl. They searched and he was face down in the water."

'Grave tended'

Ms Kear said she visits Prestbury cemetery each Christmas but has been finding "someone else has put something on the grave".

"It's either a sprig of holly, sometimes it's been a little sheaf of corn nicely wrapped and also some words of tribute - quotations from poems," she said.

"This time the grave has been tended and some flowers have been planted."

Ms Kear, who was just seven when her brother died, said she left a laminated message at the grave for the person seven years ago but has "not heard anything".

"They're never signed but it's very neat writing and sort of an elderly hand," she said.

"But I would love to speak to them, remembering Karl would be wonderful - absolutely wonderful."

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