Calendar of Events for the South Buxton Cemetery Association
Come to our next Wreaths Across America Celebration and Dedication At the Cemetery, Woodman Section December 17, 2016, 11:30 AM
The South Buxton Cemetery Association sponsored a Memorial Day 2015 flag-raising with local Girl Scouts. Jeff Grover, cemetery superintendent, was the ceremony organizer.
Richard “Sandy” Atkinson, president of South Buxton Cemetery Association, left, and Jeff Grover, cemetery superintendent, pause to reflect at the grave of Billy Camden, who was a prisoner of war in Korea. Staff photo by Robert Lowell, American Journal
William “Billy” Camden, an Army corporal, endured 31 months as a prisoner of war in Korea, according to information provided by Buxton-Hollis Historical Society.
Camden survived the ordeal and was honored at a homecoming in Buxton on May 16, 1953. He became the first Maine Korean War prisoner of war to return home. Camden, who grew up in Buxton since the age of 3 months, had enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating from high school.
After service in the Army, he was stationed with the U.S. Customs Service in Jackman, where he died at 52 in a car accident in 1983. He is buried in the South Buxton Cemetery at Tory Hill.
Richard “Sandy” Atkinson, president of the South Buxton Cemetery Association, this week remembered Camden, who had joined the Army with his brother, Kenneth Atkinson.
Their mothers were close friends and met regularly when their sons were serving in Korea.
“It was a pretty stressful time,” Richard Atkinson said.
He recalled the solemnity that gripped the town while Camden was a prisoner of war and that their mothers “ cried a lot.”
Atkinson recalled Camden’s homecoming.
“He was given a new Chevrolet,” Atkinson said.
The historical society information reports that Camden was also honored with a 2-mile parade that ended at Weymouth Park, and 700 turned out for a dinner at the S.D. Hanson High School.