When she was only seven years old, Ann Kear’s younger brother drowned in a tragic accident by the sea in Wales. Nearly seven decades later, she has a hard time remembering what her brother was like as a child. But now she hopes to find out a little more information, and it is from a stranger who has been leaving gifts at her brother’s grave since the day he was buried there.
Recently, Ann left three hydrangea flowers on her brother’s grave, and when she went to visit less than a week later, a small rose had appeared tucked within her own gift. And it isn’t just flowers. A sheaf of corn has been left there, as has a pheasant’s tail feather. Even more mysterious, several letters have been placed on the headstone, each in the same handwriting and all of them addressed to her brother, Karl.
“It’s a mystery I’d love to have solved,” Ann said in a BBC interview.
Her mother and Ann’s few memories recall a kind boy, who often had time for the elderly and had been a Boy Scout. He was twelve at his death, and he died during a scouting trip to the seaside. Few of the boys who there that day seemed to remember him, though many of his scout mates had passed years before, including some of those who had tried to save him.
As a result, Ann fears she has no time to waste. Any of Karl’s childhood friends must be in their 80’s. The mystery person apparently has a strong knowledge of English literature, as the messages often contain historical poems about dying young or at sea. In fact, one of the quoted poets, Robert Chatman, attended the same school as Karl, and many believe that it must be a former schoolmate who leaves the gifts at his grave.
One mysterious boy named Ronald came up in both situations. Not only was he a schoolmate of Karl’s, where that particular handwriting was taught, but he also had been his tent mate at the scout event the night before Karl died. He had even spoken in the inquest. However, the man had changed his name after remarrying late in life, and that had led to some difficulties in finding him.
When Ann finally got to meet him, the emotions of the situation were obvious. He remembered the day of Karl’s death clearly. Several boys had tried to go in after him, but the tide was too strong. Eventually, they dragged him out of the sound, but it was too late for Karl.
In his tale of the day, Ron told Ann about how pulling Karl out had inspired him to be a police officer. He wanted to make certain he saved someone else since he could not save Karl.
However, there is still a mystery. Ron claims he has only left flowers at the grave. No one yet has claimed responsibility for the beautiful poems left on a regular basis upon Karl’s headstone.