The Basra Memorial commemorates more than 40,500 members of the Commonwealth forces who died in the operations in Mesopotamia from the Autumn of 1914 to the end of August 1921 and whose graves are not known.
It used to be on the main quay of the naval dockyard at Maqil. In 1997, it was re-sited at a place along the road to Nasiriyah. 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.
As Feargal Keane, BBC Correspondent says:
"Curiously Saddam Hussein preserved this monument. He had it moved, carefully, from the port to the desert but did not destroy it. 'Perhaps he had some feeling for the fallen warrior,' a British officer said to me..."
"Over the decades the desert winds have done their work: segments of the slate have collapsed on the ground. There are little fragments of names scattered in the sand. A large crack has appeared where the men of the Western Ontario Regiment are remembered. Nearby is a sentence as sad as any I've read in war. It says simply: For Subhadar Mahanga and 1,770 other Indian soldiers."
Read the complete article by Feargal Keane
Those named on the Basra Memorial, which, for political reasons, is impossible for the CWGC to maintain at present, are commemorated in a two volume Roll of Honour on display at the Commission's Head Office in Maidenhead, available for the public to view.
Read more details about the memorial