Iraqis make a martyr of dead British soldier

#1
Sunday Telegraph

A British soldier killed on active duty in Iraq last week has been hailed as a martyr by the people he fought to protect.

Men, women and children in the town where 22-year-old L/Cpl Allan Douglas was murdered on Monday have declared that the soldier should be honoured as a martyr because of the sacrifice he made.


L/Cpl Allan Douglas
It is understood to be the first time that any member of the coalition forces who has died during the war in Iraq has been hailed as a martyr.

L/Cpl Douglas, who was serving with the 1st Bn The Highlanders, was patrolling through Al Amarah, in Maysan province, when he was shot dead by a sniper outside the town's police station.

Moments after the attack, Major Gen Abu Maythem, the province's police chief, declared that L/Cpl Douglas should be declared a martyr.

"This soldier died as a martyr trying to make Al Amarah safe for all Iraqis of all religions," he said. "We are all deeply shocked and sad."

Iraqi police have pledged to catch the killers.

Defence sources believe that the reaction may be due to the pride that the Iraqis have in December's successful election. It is also thought that many Iraqis fear the effect of the withdrawal of coalition forces from the province over the next few months.

One source said that the fact that a British soldier was being treated as a martyr was an indication that the Army was starting to win the "hearts and minds" of Iraqis.



The source said: "Iraqis believe Allan died trying to give the people of Al Amarah a better life. He was trying to provide security in the town and was helping to train the local police force.

"He was fighting for their cause to give them democracy and peace. As far as the Iraqis are concerned his sacrifice makes him a martyr."

Yesterday L/Cpl Douglas's father, Walter Douglas, 54, a school caretaker, told the Sunday Telegraph that he felt no hatred towards the Iraqi people for the death of his son.

"I am not going to condemn all Iraqis just because one of them killed Allan," he said. "I have no problem with them declaring him a martyr if they want to. It is a nice gesture."

Mr Douglas added that he had received letters of condolence from Prince Philip, who is the Colonel in Chief of the Highlanders, and the Prince of Wales.

L/Cpl Douglas, who came from the Northfield area of Aberdeen, was a veteran of tours in Bosnia and Kosovo. He had been a member of the Highlanders for six years and, according to his parents, was disillusioned with the war in Iraq and intended to leave the Army.

Several British soldiers have been killed in Maysan province, one of the most dangerous areas in southern Iraq.

Within hours of L/Cpl Douglas's death, Cpl Gordon Pritchard, 31, of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and a married father of three, became the 100th British soldier to die in Iraq when he was killed by a roadside bomb in Umm Qasr, in southern Iraq.

Another soldier, from the 9th/12th Lancers (Prince of Wales's), was killed in a road accident on the outskirts of Basra on Friday.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai...ier05.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/02/05/ixhome.html
 
#2
Glad to see that some of them are greatful for the saccrifice of our troops.
 
#3
It is a small comfort for the family and a small gesture considering how many have been lost serving there, but that said, a welcome one which shows that some of the people of Iraq do appreciate the sacrifice made for them.
 
#4
Its good to see that some Iraqis value the sacrifices made by British troops. Its a ray of hope in a difficult situation.
 
#5
Could this be a step in a better direction? I don't remember them saying anything like this about anyone else who has lost their life over there (anyone else know of anything like this happening before?).
 
#6
No this is the first.
 
#7
Assuming that this happened for the reasons stated, it goes someway towards answering something that has been bothering me and a small group of friends. We met "Arabs" in the early '50s. Down in their villages. Squatting down in the dirt with them. Drinking the tea and eating the eggs and bread they offered. Perfectly decent people living at very low physical standards but jolly good types. We could not understand where these people had gone - the grandparents of today's "arab" who appears much less likeable.
Seems they are still about - just less visible.
 
#8
[
Men, women and children in the town where 22-year-old L/Cpl Allan Douglas was murdered on Monday have declared that the soldier should be honoured as a martyr because of the sacrifice he made.


I do wish they would stop refering to troops killed in action as being murdered.
 
#9
Maybe that his comments will give our brave troops doing a thankless task a bit of a lift in the knowledge that someone apart from us appreciate what they're doing.(and lets hope bLiar does'nt hijack it for political gains!)
 
#10
finnjim said:
[
Men, women and children in the town where 22-year-old L/Cpl Allan Douglas was murdered on Monday have declared that the soldier should be honoured as a martyr because of the sacrifice he made. I do wish they would stop refering to troops killed in action as being murdered.
Shot dead by a sniper? What else but murder - maybe you think it was ND then?
 
#12
The story reminded me of a Kipling poem. If its not appropriate PTP can of course set me straight.

The Grave of the Hundered Head

Rudyard Kipling

THERE’S a widow in sleepy Chester
Who weeps for her only son;
There’s a grave on the Pabeng River,
A grave that the Burmans shun,

And there’s Subadar Prag Tewarri
Who tells how the work was done.

A Snider squibbed in the jungle,
Somebody laughed and fled,
And the men of the First Shikaris
Picked up their Subaltern dead,
With a big blue mark in his forehead
And the back blown out of his head.

Subadar Prag Tewarri,
Jemadar Hira Lal,
Took command of the party,
Twenty rifles in all,
Marched them down to the river
As the day was beginning to fall.

They buried the boy by the river,
A blanket over his face—
They wept for their dead Lieutenant,
The men of an alien race—
They made a samadh in his honor,
A mark for his resting-place.

For they swore by the Holy Water,
They swore by the salt they ate,
That the soul of Lieutenant Eshmitt Sahib
Should go to his God in state;
With fifty file of Burman
To open him Heaven’s gate.

The men of the First Shikaris
Marched till the break of day,
Till they came to the rebel village,
The village of Pabengmay—
A jingal covered the clearing,
Calthrops hampered the way.

Subadar Prag Tewarri,
Bidding them load with ball,
Halted a dozen rifles
Under the village wall;
Sent out a flanking-party
With Jemadar Hira Lal.

The men of the First Shikaris
Shouted and smote and slew,
Turning the grinning jingal
On to the howling crew.
The Jemadar’s flanking-party
Butchered the folk who flew.

Long was the morn of slaughter,
Long was the list of slain,
Five score heads were taken,
Five score heads and twain;
And the men of the First Shickaris
Went back to their grave again,
Each man bearing a basket
Red as his palms that day,
Red as the blazing village—
The village of Pabengmay,
And the “drip-drip-drip” from the baskets
Reddened the grass by the way.

They made a pile of their trophies
High as a tall man’s chin,
Head upon head distorted,
Set in a sightless grin,
Anger and pain and terror
Stamped on the smoke-scorched skin.

Subadar Prag Tewarri
Put the head of the Boh
On the top of the mound of triumph,
The head of his son below,
With the sword and the peacock-banner
That the world might behold and know.
Thus the samadh was perfect,
Thus was the lesson plain
Of the wrath of the First Shikaris—
The price of a white man slain;
And the men of the First Shikaris
Went back into camp again.

Then a silence came to the river,
A hush fell over the shore,
And Bohs that were brave departed,
And Sniders squibbed no more;
For he Burmans said
That a kullah’s head
Must be paid for with heads five score.

There’s a widow in sleepy Chester
Who weeps for her only son;
There’s a grave on the Pabeng River,
A grave that the Burmans shun,
And there’s Subadar Prag Tewarri
Who tells how the work was done.
 
#13
Excellent !

Advocating mass beheadings for revenge of a dead boss

It may be Kipling and a very nice poem but whats it got to do with this thread,

Its not whether its appropriate but whether its relevant

toodlepip
theGimp
 
#14
Good to see a formal aknowledgement of how local attitudes are changing.
Tom's better side is slowly being seen.
Tom has always been his countries best advert, tho sometime he gets very silly and upsets the locals.
I had a drink with one old soldier this last Friday night, who had been in Dortmund in early/mid 60's. They had come from operations in Aden and where not happy about a non UK posting. Relations with town folk where bad.
A block of local flats suffered a gas explosion over Christmas and the battalion was deployed to assist. He said they did the donkey work for the local authorities.
Come New Year, Tom could do no wrong and Fritz was happy to help Tom get into his 'Normal' Pizz befudled state.
john
As for Rudyard, well attitudes of native troops to Brit officers where somewhat different back then and work of fiction should be treatet as such.
 
#15
OldRedCap said:
finnjim said:
[
Men, women and children in the town where 22-year-old L/Cpl Allan Douglas was murdered on Monday have declared that the soldier should be honoured as a martyr because of the sacrifice he made. I do wish they would stop refering to troops killed in action as being murdered.
Shot dead by a sniper? What else but murder - maybe you think it was ND then?
are all 'snipers' considered murderers then?
 
#16
Yes all snipers are murdering scum and a bit geeky with it as well :) . Its good news that we may have won some hearts and minds pity the news comes attached to the end of a another soldiers life.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#17
My opinion, murder is a civil crime whilst Killed on active service is not a civil matter.
 
#18
Hmmm... but I suppose the argument here is that the Iraqis now have an Iraqi Government - they are not occupied... So yeah it is murder and in fact classing it as murder is part of the next step for Iraq.


I thought T6's (well Kiplings really) poem was interesting and its facking obvious he's not advocating killing 100 Iraqis in revenge!!!

Tricam.
 
#19
Fang_Farrier said:
My opinion, murder is a civil crime whilst Killed on active service is not a civil matter.
Remind us of this one next time you choose to give an opinion. It will save wear and tear on my mouse's right button. If you do go anywhere near real action, just off someone as this sniper did and see what the APA recommends. Not that that is worth much agreed but it might help you understand.
 
#20
OldRedCap said:
finnjim said:
[
Men, women and children in the town where 22-year-old L/Cpl Allan Douglas was murdered on Monday have declared that the soldier should be honoured as a martyr because of the sacrifice he made. I do wish they would stop refering to troops killed in action as being murdered.
Shot dead by a sniper? What else but murder - maybe you think it was ND then?
No, I dont think it was an ND, as you so subtly put it.
In the context of the matter, the soldier was part of an army of occupation, in the same context, does that mean that all the French resistance, Norwegian et al are murderers too?
Also I think it demeans the sacrifice the soldier made to term his death a murder, it was not any bar-room brawl that killed him, he died on active service, end of story.
If anyone murdered him it was George Bush and Tony Blair. killed for their vanity.
 

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