Basra Memorial to Iraq Casualties to come home with Troops

Following his one day visit to Iraq on 17th December Gordon Brown announced that the Basra memorial wall, where he laid a wreath in memory of the 178 servicemen and women who have died in Iraq, would be brought back along with British troops to  ‘a fitting resting place of its own in our own country’. The brick wall, which has brass plaques with the names of those who died, will be dismantled from its current location in Basra airbase when the last of the 4,100 troops leave at the end of July 2009.  

Basra Memorial, Iraq, 2008

Basra Memorial, Iraq, 2008 (photo courtesy of MOD)

There will probably be much discussion about where the memorial should be resited, as it commemorates service personnel from all parts of the UK, as well as a few from elsewhere. Debates may also take place over whether it will be re-erected in exactly the same form, or if additions and changes will be made. Perhaps the strongest feeling will be that the same bricks and plaques should be re-assembled without embellishment, since they were erected by the troops themselves and have been the focus of commemoration for those serving.

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3 comments
  1. ukniwm2 said:

    The Ministry of Defence has recently responded to a request from Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond to rehome the Basra memorial in Perth, saying that it felt the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire would provide the most accessible location for visiting from across the UK.

    The spokesman for the MOD confirmed that they were thinking to design a new Iraq memorial that would suit the surroundings of the Arboretum.

    • ukniwm2 said:

      A Service to re-dedicate the Basra wall memorial will be take place tomorrow on 11th March in the National Memorial Arboretum. The memorial, which was dismantled in April last year, has been re-erected near to the Armed Forces memorial. As thought, the original bricks were found to be too fragile for the UK climate, but they have instead been used to form the foundations of the wall.

      All of the 179 commemorative brass plaques (178 military personnel and 1 MOD civilian) have been re-mounted on the wall. The centrepiece is formed by the marble tablet which was dedicated to operations in Iraq by the Archbishop of Canterbury in St Paul’s Cathedral last October.

      The friends and families of those killed as well as representatives from the government will be attending the rededication ceremony.

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