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Condition of Basra memorial please


Guest KevinEndon
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Guest KevinEndon

Could someone tell me as to the condition of the Basra war memorials please.

I believe the Americans repaired them only for them to be smashed again. Is this correct.

If it is correct do any pals have a photograph of panels 37 and 64 before the destruction.

Fingers crossed

Kevin

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Hi Kevin,

How are you? Is this the Shaiba Memorial? I have a couple of pix taken by Briitsh forces about 2 years ago.

Phil

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I'd be interested in a photo of Panel 15, if one exists.....

Thanks

Alan

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Guest KevinEndon

Oi Alan you hijacker lol.

Nice to hear from you Mr Potter aka Phil. I am doing well thanks and you? CWGC has it down as Basra War Memorial so dont know if its the Shaiba Memorial. I am after information if panels 37 and 64 are intact or if anyone has a photograph of these panels especially the name of Alex Hill, Seaforth Highlanders.

Let me know Phil by pm next time you are passing, I will put the kettle on.

Kevin

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Beautiful photos, thanks!

Yet I remember that few months ago I found an internet page with recent photos (no more than one or two year old, I think) showing the sacrary in terrible conditions, with broken or fallen plaques...Unfortunately I didn't bookmarked it and I can't find it anymore.

Nobody else has seen that site (and maybe bookmarked it?)

Elena

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For info...

The Basra Memorial has been declared 'no longer a fitting memorial' by CWGC and so it will be unlikely that it will ever be repaired.

All names are now included in a special Memorial Book kept at Maidenhead as a temporary measure until the future commemoration of these men is decided. Maybe a new memorial will be built elsewhere - unless the situation dramatically changes in Iraq over the next few years.

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For info...

The Basra Memorial has been declared 'no longer a fitting memorial' by CWGC and so it will be unlikely that it will ever be repaired.

All names are now included in a special Memorial Book kept at Maidenhead as a temporary measure until the future commemoration of these men is decided. Maybe a new memorial will be built elsewhere - unless the situation dramatically changes in Iraq over the next few years.

I had read this... But I would like to find some photos all the same, even old ones!

I hope anyway that a new memorial is built somewhere, I think a Memorial Book is not the same thing of a "real" memorial...

Elena

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Can't find it on Google Earth, can anyone else locate it and post a photo here?

I suppose the Google photos are quite old though... It would be interesting to see where it is located in Basra.

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The Memorial Book is only a temporary measure until a decision is made on how/where to commemorate these men.

You could even envisage a memorial bearing all the names who died in Mespot even if they have graves - if all are declared 'unmaintainable'. It has happened before.

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Neil - the memorial is not in Basra itself - this is from CWGC -

"Until 1997 the Basra Memorial was located on the main quay of the naval dockyard at Maqil, on the west bank of the Shatt-al-Arab, about 8 kilometres north of Basra. Because of the sensitivity of the site, the Memorial was moved by presidential decree. The move, carried out by the authorities in Iraq, involved a considerable amount of manpower, transport costs and sheer engineering on their part, and the Memorial has been re-erected in its entirety. The Basra Memorial is now located 32 kilometres along the road to Nasiriyah, in the middle of what was a major battleground during the first Gulf War. The Panel Numbers quoted at the end of each entry relate to the panels dedicated to the Regiment served with."

I think I have found it on Google Earth - if you follow the road out of Basra in a "10 o'clock" direction, I think you can find it...

Alan

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The Memorial Book is only a temporary measure until a decision is made on how/where to commemorate these men.

You could even envisage a memorial bearing all the names who died in Mespot even if they have graves - if all are declared 'unmaintainable'. It has happened before.

Perish the thought, but as Terry says, it has happened before, but perhaps we should never say never.

Although a WW2 issue it has now been possible to commemorate the servicemen killed in Albania and I have just received photos of the three RAAF personnel. CWGC details below.

Cemetery: TIRANA PARK MEMORIAL CEMETERY

Country: Albania

Locality: unspecified

Location Information: The Cemetery is situated in the Great Park of Tirana, on the main boulevard, close to the Hotel Sheraton and the Main University Buildings.

Historical Information: Following the end of the war in Europe, an Army Graves Registration Unit entered Albania with the task of concentrating the remains of Commonwealth Servicemen, lost in the struggle to secure Albania freedom, into a site chosen in the capital, Tirana. However, due to the political situation in the country, this task could not be completed, though 52 sets of remains were recovered in the short time available. Eventually, in 1955, after repeated requests to enter the country were refused, the Commission took the decision to commemorate the 38 identified casualties on special memorials erected in Phaleron War Cemetery in Greece. This situation remained thus until 1994, when a change in the political situation in Albania allowed a Commission representative access for the first time. He discovered that the original individual burials had been moved by the Communist authorities to an unmarked collective grave located under a path near the university buildings in Tirana. At the beginning of 1995, the 38 special memorials were removed from Phaleron and re-erected as close as possible to the site of the mass grave, in an area designated the Tirana Park Memorial Cemetery. In 1998, following a study of the Graves Registration unit files, it was possible for the Commission's records staff to confirm the identities of a further seven casualties previously buried in Tirana War Cemetery as unknowns.

No. of Identified Casualties: 46

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Hi Kev

I've found a couple, through google, so will post the links.

http://www.royalnavaldivision.co.uk/basra.JPG

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3255443.stm

If I find more I'll add them.

http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Overseas/Ira...esRecovery.html

This one isn't of the finished memorial, but I thought it pretty interesting anyway and thought you might like to see this one if you haven't already http://www.viewimages.com/Search.aspx?mid=...;partner=Google

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"Because of the sensitivity of the site, the Memorial was moved by presidential decree. The move, carried out by the authorities in Iraq, involved a considerable amount of manpower, transport costs and sheer engineering on their part, and the Memorial has been re-erected in its enirety."

The CWGC details quoted by Alan were written while Saddam Hussein was still firmly in power, and I think they were written diplomatically to avoid appearing to criticise. Having such a big monument moved on a presidential whim must have caused the CWGC major concern. I believe that when the Iraqis re-assembled the Memorial, they didn't make a very good job of it at all. The lack of care in rebuilding caused concern that the memorial would suffer deterioration because of it.

Tom

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  • 2 months later...

Ladies and Gents,

I was lucky enough to be present at the 2003 Remembrance Day ceremony at Basra War Memorial (yes, it is also known as Shaibah memorial) and have several dozen photos of the event (taken by our CO's dvr/rad op and unofficial photographer) if anyone is interested. Unfortunately I do not have any decent photos of any of the panels apart from some partials from the left hand side of the memorial incorporating:- Norfolk Regiment, Lincolnshire Regt, Royal Fusiliers, Somerset Light Infantry and -rdshire Regiment and -tershire Regiment. These could be made readable by some fancy graphic manipulation (colour reversal, negativisation etc).

I am happy to share these pics upon request. You're looking at about 20mb worth of pics (about 1.5mb each).

Regards

Simon

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