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.
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.