On October 8th at 11 a.m. in the graveyard at Rose of Sharon Baptist Church in Durham, the Barbee family will be holding a small graveside memorial for William Cates. William is the great uncle of Ms. Beth Barbee. William was married to her great aunt Elizabeth, whom is she is named for.
Shortly after William and Elizabeth were married, he enlisted in the war (that’s World War II) and he was eventually was sent to Germany where he was declared Missing in Action and later found in a POW camp, Stalag 2E, Schwerin Mecklenberg 53-11, Poland. Learn more, photos
He died there and is buried on a hill outside the gates of the POW camp. In working on finding more information about him and his military career I found out about the program the government has that any service man’s body who is unrecoverable, (such as buried at sea or as in case of WWII unknown), they will give a grave stone or marker to place on US soil.
The family now has a marker which they are going to place at the foot of my Elizabeth Cates’ grave.
A color guard from the local high school will attend. There will also be a group of men singing and a gentleman to play Taps.
All area Legionnaires are encouraged to attend to memorialize this prisoner of war.
The memorial will be held in the graveyard of Rose of Sharon Baptist Church in Durham, NC. The church is located on the corner of Guess Road and Rose of Sharon Road. If you have any questions, Ms. Barbee can be reached at 919-210-3364.