British cemetery in Basra

Thousands of war graves in Iraq marking soldiers killed in the First World War lie in ruin

The war graves of almost 3,000 British troops killed in Iraq during the First World War have been left in such a state of disrepair that the entire site has been transformed into football pitches.

Despite being etched with the immortal line: ‘Their name liveth for evermore’, the truth could not be further from the sentiment for the memorials in the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Amara.

Most of the headstones were removed in the 1930s after they crumbled in the heat, leaving behind plaques, gravemarkers and several stone memorials.

  • simus1

    The WW1 British / Indian forces campaign in Ottoman “ruled Iraq” was another disgraceful chapter in the multiple episode series of “Lions led by incompetent useless goats”. The top general was at best, a mentally ill misfit of the worse than General Custer variety. Given the “foreign aid” money wasted around the world by today’s British government, hiring some supervised Iraqis to disinter the dead and ship them “home” to Britain and India/Pakistan would be funds well spent on both sides.

    • I am surprised no one has suggested that be done.

    • canminuteman

      On the whole, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission does an outstanding job. I am prepared cut them some some slack. I disagree about bringing them home. It has never been the British practice to ship bodies home. I think even as recently as the Falklands war, they were buried where they fell. “There is a corner of a foreign field that is forever England”