Ann Kear and Ronald Seymour-Westborough
Image caption Ms Kear said it was “brilliant” to have discovered who is behind the floral tributes

The mystery of who has been attending the grave of a schoolboy for decades has partially been solved.

Karl Smith was just 12 when he drowned on a Scouting trip in 1947.

His sister Ann Kear noticed flowers and poems were regularly left on his grave near Cheltenham, and appealed for the person leaving them to get in touch.

A BBC Stories investigation has revealed an 84-year-old former childhood friend of Karl’s to be responsible for leaving the flowers.

However the person who has been leaving the poems has still not been identified.

Ms Kear, 77, said it was “brilliant” to have discovered Ronald Seymour-Westborough from Gloucester to be behind the floral tributes.

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

Image copyright Ann Kear
Image caption Ann Kear was seven years old when her brother Karl died in 1947

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

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

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

A BBC Stories investigation led to him 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 the BBC iPlayer from Saturday 11 November.


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