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Who's been leaving flowers on grave of boy who drowned in 1947?

AOL 2017-11-13 12:45:00



The 70-year-old mystery of who has been leaving flowers at the grave of a 12-year-old schoolboy who drowned on a scout trip in 1947 has finally been solved.

Tragic Karl Smith was just 12 when he died on the trip to South Wales in 1947 but since then his family have been left baffled at the appearance of flowers and poems every year.


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They were never able to track down the mystery mourner but have now been united although one part of the story remains unsolved.

A BBC investigation has revealed that 84-year-old Ronald Seymour-Westborough from Gloucester, a childhood friend of Karl's who was with him when he died, is the person who has been leaving the flowers.

However Mr Seymour-Westborough is not responsible for the poems that have been regularly left over the decades so that mystery remains unsolved.

The flowers have been left by a mystery mourner for 70 years


Karl pictured here with his sister Ann


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Karl's sister, Ann Kear, 77, said it was "brilliant" to have discovered Mr Seymour-Westborough after so many years.

Mr Seymour-Westborough said Karl had been his closest friend in the Scouts and had shared a tent with him the night before he died. It was he who had found Karl face down in the sea.

He said he had had no idea Mrs Kear had been looking for him, and did not even know Karl had a sister.

Ann finally found out the truth thanks to a BBC investigation


Ronald Seymour-Westborough was on the same trip and shared a tent with Karl Smith, who died aged 12 off the Welsh coast


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Karl was on a scouting trip to Oxwich Bay near Swansea in August 1947, when he drowned. He is buried at St Mary's Church in Prestbury near Cheltenham in Gloucestershire.

Mrs Kear was just seven at the time. In 2015 she appealed for whoever had been leaving tributes on the grave to get in touch.

A BBC Stories investigation led to Mr Seymour-Westborough being tracked down to his Gloucester home.

The Stranger at my Brother's Grave was produced by BBC Stories and is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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