Basra memorial moved to arboretum

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by POGscribbler, Jun 15, 2009.

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  1. Basra memorial moved to arboretum

    A memorial wall set up in Iraq for British soldiers is to be brought to the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.
    Prime Minister Gordon Brown confirmed the move while speaking at the House of Commons about the Iraq inquiry.
    A petition, signed by 1,200 people, had been set up asking the government to bring the plaques on the memorial wall in Basra back to the UK.
    The petition was started by Warwickshire mother Carol Jones.
    Her son, Sgt John Jones, was killed by a roadside bomb in the Iraqi city in 2005, aged 31.
    Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant said the Basra memorial will form part of a new memorial wall to be built at the arboretum in Alrewas.


  2. Maybe I'm missing something, quite possible since I've had a few, but why not leave them out there and get new ones for the Arboretum?
  3. I think the reasons may be they were the original ones, Maybe if its left out there could be be sure it would not be trashed?. I do think moving it back to the UK is the right move for the HM Forces and the relaitvies
  4. I don't quite understand what you're trying to say, but the underlined aspect is reason enough for me. Luckily none of my relatives are on that wall but I wouldn't want them to stay at "Basra International Airport" etc after we leave. Our troops have given enough for that country, that last thing I'd want to see is for that wall to become part of the staff car park or the smoking area. Bring it back to the UK where people who care about it can actually see it.

    T C
  5. Well said all the above! :clap:
  6. That was the view of just about everyone over there as the curtain was coming down, then some politician said the wall would be moved to the UK.

    So the plaques AND the wall are returning, much to the consternation of the RE who have to move the wall.
  7. I hope you don't mind me duplicating a post that I put on a few weeks ago, it explains what is happening regarding the Basra Memorial wall?

    soldiersmum Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 1:14 pm Post subject: Re: Memorial service, Basra
    Can I just add the contents of a letter that one of the parents that lost her son in Iraq received on Saturday from Bob Ainsworth about the Memorial Wall in Basra?

    I am writing to let you know our plans for the memorial wall in Basra that commemorates the coalition service personnel and civilians who have lost their lives on operations since 2003, as well as the British personnel who have died on operations in Iraq over the same period.

    As you may be aware, the British Prime Minister and Defence Secretary made a commitment last December to bring the wall home to a fitting resting place in Britain after the end of the combat mission. After considering a number of options for the location of the memorial in the UK, we have concluded that the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire is the most appropriate site. This will allow the memorial to stand in a tranquil and dignified setting close to the National Armed Forces Memorial, on which the names of all UK military personnel who have died on operations in Iraq are engraved. With the trustees, we are now seeking to finalise a suitable design.

    Our aim is to replicate the memorial wall in Basra as closely as possible at the Arboretum. The proposed design will incorporate the marble centre-stone of the Basra Memorial Wall, which is engraved with a quotation from the Book of Wisdom chosen by the Commanding Officer and his senior chaplain at the time. Unfortunately, the existing bricks in the Basra wall would be very unlikely to survive the dismantling of the wall and nor would they be durable enough to withstand the climate at the Arboretum. Our intention therefore is to build a new memorial wall at the Arboretum that is modelled on the Basra design but made out of a more durable material, such as granite, incorporating a small number of the original bricks for symbolic purposes.

    We are very conscious of how important the plaques on the Memorial Wall commemorating each of those who lost their lives are to their families and friends. We will take the utmost care as they are removed from the Memorial Wall and brought back to the UK. Upon their return to this country, we face a difficult choice. Expert advice suggests that the brass plaques are likely to tarnish quickly and will be difficult to maintain in the weather conditions at the Arboretum. Despite this. and in keeping with our overall aim for the wall, our preference is to use all of the plaques on the new memorial wall and try to protect them from the elements as best we can. We are discussing with the Arboretum whether and how they could be preserved. However, even if this could be achieved, it may still not be possible to maintain the plaques to the high standard that we would wish. I am enclosing an artist’s impression of what we hope the new memorial wall at the Arboretum will look like, should we be able to use the plaques. If using the plaques on the wall ultimately proves not to be viable, we would instead engrave the words from each plaque on the new memorial and we would need to consider to whom the plaques themselves should be passed.

    We have plans in place to bring the plaques, centre stone and sound bricks back to the UK as the combat mission in Basra comes to an end. Subject to final agreement with the Arboretum, we hope that work may start later this year on the foundations, and that the new memorial wall itself would be completed by July next year. We are planning to organise a dedication service next year to unveil the completed memorial.

    On behalf of the Government and people of Britain, I would like to pay tribute to the courageous coalitions servicemen, women and civilians who gave their lives whilst serving in Iraq. We shall never forget them.

    We will continue to keep you informed as the plans for the new memorial are developed.


    Bob Ainsworth.

    There is also an item in today's Daily Mail about this, here is the link to it:-
  8. But they'll rebuild it with different materials and possibly new plaques! Sounds like a government promise :?