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Remembered Today:

Baghdad cemeteries/memorial/s


Pettsy
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I was just wondering about the War Graves and Memorial's in Baghdad.

I know the CWGC say not to visit just now, because of the troubles out there.

Will they ever be safe to visit?

I have one more photo to get for my collection, and hope that one day, I will have a copy of my gg uncles grave/headstone.

Has anyone ever visited?

The cemetery in question is North Gate Cemetery.

La Pettsy

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Nobody can answer your question. Nobody knowshow matters will pan out.

When possible CWGC will move back in to repair the cemeteries, replace headstones and probably build a replacement for the Basra Memorial. However, that is almost certainly many years into the future.

CWGC are quite prepared to wait till situations settle down as they did in Lebanon.

Some cemeteries in Iraq have been badly damaged and others simply are overgrown. Your gg.uncle may not have a headstone at this moment.

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Will they ever be safe to visit?

I see no reason why not. It has been safe to visit Iraq in the past and will be again in the future. Although I suspect it may be many years before Brits are welcomed again as tourists (if you get my drift)

John

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2 of my Mates are in Iraq at the Moment,and say that the Cemetery has been Cleaned and Tidied up by Volunteers from Our Armed Forces.As for visiting,dont plan anything for at least the next Few Years.

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Thank you Terry, John & PBI for you replies,

I am glad they are being repaired and tidied up volunteers, thank them from me please.

And I hope they are home soon with their familes.

I will not be visiting , ever!!!

I am looking forward to the day when it is safe for familes and Pals to visit graves/memorial's.

And I receive a photo of my gg uncle's resting place.

La Pettsy

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I've been to the one in Basrah in 2004, it's just behind the Ba ath party HQ.

Unfortunately all the headstones had been ripped up and the terrorists use to use the grounds to fire mortars at our base. the big center cross is still there but has been badly damaged.

There was talk of returning it to its former state but if anyone has been there would know that is just a pipe dream.

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Danny that is terrible, it makes me so bl**dy angry.

And it seems worst when it's graves, being destroyed, knowing our loved ones remains are buried there.

Or course it is just as bad for them to destroy our memorials.... :angry:

I haven't seen any pic's of Northgate cemetery in Baghdad, only one on CWGC.

La pettsy :angry:

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My Friend Has 2 Sons Both serving in Iraq at this moment in Time,he will try and text them and see if they can get some photos for you,Fingers crossed. :D

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This is a story that the news agency I work for put out soon afer the fall of Baghdad in 2003. No direct WWI connection but many of the dead could have fought in 1914-18. Lord knows what it's like now.

cheers Martin B

British military graveyard in Baghdad destroyed

BAGHDAD, May 25 (AFP) - The Baghdad graveyard which holds the remains of one of the leading British figures in Arab history has been smashed and wrecked -- and recently killed Iraqi troops have been buried at the site.

Dozens of gravestones of British soldiers, many from the Royal Air Force (RAF), have been toppled or broken in what villagers said was a riot of looting in the area after Saddam Hussein was driven from power.

The tiny cemetery, on what had been a compound of Saddam's Republican Guard, contains the remains of around 100 British soldiers dating back to the period between the two world wars when Britain was the controlling authority in Iraq.

It also bears the grave of Sir Gilbert Clayton, who was the British High Commissioner in Iraq from January 1929 until his death eight months later, and who had formerly been Britain's top military spymaster.

One of the more controversial figures in the West's affairs in the Arab world, Clayton was also head of the Arab Bureau in Cairo, played a key role in the Arab revolt against Ottoman rule, and was intimately involved with the running of the British mandate in Palestine.

The graveyard was apparently closed to the public with the creation of the Guard headquarters, which was the presumed target of the looting.

The Guard building has been pillaged and the contents that were not stolen have been dumped in a filthy pile near the graves.

Gas-mask canisters, blood-stained logbooks, dozens of pairs of chemical warfare protection boots and other debris are scattered around the site.

Residents showed AFP the latest addition to the grounds -- around half a dozen new shallow graves of Iraqi soldiers they said had been killed in fighting with US forces during the war to bring down Saddam.

One grave rests right next to a heap of fractured British gravestones, some of them so badly smashed that the names of the dead are illegible.

Another has been constructed with a makeshift handle, allowing the curious to battle a thick knot of flies to peer inside. The stench of the rotting dead is overpowering.

"People from the village came out to bury them, " said Thaer Hashem Abbas. "The soldiers were killed by American troops."

The bloodied shrouds that wrapped the Iraqi dead lie on the ground next to a rusted stretcher.

Abbas said the damage had been done by looters and not by Republican Guard forces, and there did not appear to be any bullet holes or other weapons damage to the tombstones.

Trucks and farm vehicles packed full of looters are still driving around the area and an AFP reporter saw one group on a tractor carrying away their booty.

Abbas said that US troops had passed through the site last week and told a handful of Iraqis who have started to move into the compound that they would soon be evicted.

It was not immediately clear if the British graves had been moved to the site after the soldiers died or when the establishment of the Republican Guard headquarters effectively sealed off the area from the public.

Several of the dead soldiers were attached to the Iraq Levies. One gravestone marked the tomb of a member of the Royal West Kent Regiment.

The earliest death date found among the rubble was 1921 but the devastation has left many of the stones too broken to decipher. One fragment in the dust reads: "Aged 24, Died of Wounds, 7 May 1924."

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My Friend Has 2 Sons Both serving in Iraq at this moment in Time,he will try and text them and see if they can get some photos for you,Fingers crossed. :D

Thank you that is very kind, but please only if it is safe there.

I wouldn't want to put anyone at risk.

I will double check details with dad, and add them to my signature.

Thank you.

Thank you for the story Martin,

I am off to read it now.

La Pettsy

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The British Army have been repairing the headstones and tidying the cemeteries over in Iraq. I have created a page with some photographs on the Roll of Honour site showing this.

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Thank you Martin,

I just had a good look and read of the site.

I then went on to look at the link at the bottom of your post.

I clicked onto Cite Bon Jean cemetery, to look at the names of men buried there.

There were only four names?

I was hoping to see my great grandfather there.

I want to add his photo too.

Great info.

Thank you.

La pettsy

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I then went on to look at the link at the bottom of your post.

I clicked onto Cite Bon Jean cemetery, to look at the names of men buried there. There were only four names? I was hoping to see my great grandfather there. I want to add his photo too.

Not too sure where you went. Can you supply the URL of the page you went to.

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Hi Martin,

I clicked on www.roll-of-honour.com

And on there clicked WW1 Cemeteries.com, clicked to enter site.

Then click onto 1914-1918 cemetery site.

Then I clicked on C and scrolled down to CITE BONJEAN MILITARY CEMETERY.

On there it named four men buried there, I wondered why it only mentioned these four?

Thanks Martin.

La Pettsy

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Danny that is terrible, it makes me so bl**dy angry.

And it seems worst when it's graves, being destroyed, knowing our loved ones remains are buried there.

Or course it is just as bad for them to destroy our memorials.... :angry:

I haven't seen any pic's of Northgate cemetery in Baghdad, only one on CWGC.

La pettsy :angry:

It may sound glib but this is what happens when you invade someone elses country.

Andy

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It may sound glib but this is what happens when you invade someone elses country.

Andy

Oh I know Andy, as they say, "All's fair in love and war"

But it still makes me bl**dy angry ;)

No respect for the dead.

La Pettsy

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I clicked on www.roll-of-honour.com

And on there clicked WW1 Cemeteries.com, clicked to enter site.

Not my site I am afraid. Don't know the answr I am afraid to say.

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