Source: Stories

Stranger Visits 12-Year-Old Boy's Grave and Leaves Flowers for 70 Years

Stephen Thompson
Feb 10, 2022
07:40 P.M.
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After losing her brother when she was seven, a woman's eagerness to know more about the late boy led to the discovery of a stranger, who had been leaving flowers at her brother's grave for 70 years. 

A 70-year-old mystery of who had been leaving flowers at the grave of a very young schoolboy who drowned on a Scout trip to Gower in August 1947 was finally solved, following a BBC stories investigation in November 2017.

Journalist Camila Ruz tracked down the mysterious stranger, who happened to be an older man, aged 84. Let's look at the story's details, including the reason for the stranger's kind actions.

Karl Smith's sister, Ann Kear at Karl Smith's gravestone. | Photo: Stories



Ann Kear, Karl Smith's sister, was only seven years old when she learned that her brother, aged 12, had drowned.

She had been aching to learn more about the older brother she did not spend enough time with and often visited his grave for several decades.

An old photo of Karl Smith and his sister, Ann Kear. | Photo: Stories


In the late 1990s, Kear discovered that someone else tended to Smith's grave at St Mary's Church in Prestbury.

The woman was desperate to find out who the mystery person was, hoping that they could give her more information about her brother.


Kear tried everything within her power to get in touch with the person. She left notes at the grave asking the stranger to come forward and even attended Scout unions to find clues. However, nothing happened, but with the intervention of the BBC, Kear started getting answers.


After so many attempts at finding the stranger, an 84-year-old man, Ronald Seymour-Westborough from Gluecoster, was identified as the mystery person. Kear was thrilled about the discovery, noting that it was brilliant that the older man was found.

Footage from BBC's video showing Ann Kear visiting Karl Smith's grave | Photo: Stories


Seymour-Westborough and Smith shared a close bond as kids. The latter was the older man's closest friend in the Scouts, and they remained tightly knit until Smith died.

Sadly, Seymour-Westborough found his friend's lifeless body in the sea in Oxwich Bay. Smith was buried, and a few years later, the older man started leaving flowers at his friend's grave.

Ronald Seymour-Westborough in an interview with BBC | Photo: Stories


Speaking about the investigation, Seymour-Westborough revealed he was unaware that his late friend's family had been searching for him.

The older man explained that up until he was discovered, he never knew Smith had a sister. Eventually, the BBC investigator arranged a heartwarming meeting between Kear and Seymour-Westborough, where they reminisced about Smith, who brought them together.

Kear was happy to hear nice things about her late brother. She mentioned that Smith touched many people's lives, and even though he was not alive, he was still impacting lives, which was remarkable.

An old group picture featuring Karl Smith and the rest of the Scout | Photo: Stories



One part of the story remains a mystery, however. At the time, the woman was still searching for the person leaving poems at her brother's grave, as Seymour-Westborough said left only flowers.

The BBC investigator promised to keep searching and hoped to find hopeful discoveries. Currently, it is unknown if the second mystery person was found. 

A shot of Karl Smith's gravestone | Photo: Stories

However, Kear will always be grateful for the opportunity to meet the older man, who told her unforgettable tales of Smith.