This article, published in the Brightlingsea & Wivenhoe Chronicle in October 2018, recounts William Oakley’s heroic achievement as part of the team who were sent out to cut the communications cable to Cuba whilst under heavy enemy fire in the Spanish-American of 1898. It was written by Suzanne Bacon.
William had been born in Wivenhoe in 1857 and emigrated to the US in 1880 and joined the US Navy. He came back to live in Wivenhoe in 1911. Research by Michael Smither of the Wivenhoe History Group and an employee of Wivenhoe Town Council led to the US authorities recognising William Oakley’s achievement by providing a memorial headstone to mark where William Oakley was buried in Wivenhoe’s Old Cemetery.
A ceremony was organised by Wivenhoe Town Council at the Old Cemetery to which many people had been invited. The ceremony was led by Wivenhoe Town Mayor Cllr Robert Needham.
Click on the links below to see related pages about Wm Oakley:
- A ceremony for Wm Oakley 100 years after his death
- A detailed account about Wm Oakley and how he earned the US Medal of Honor