BAGHDAD (NORTH GATE) (KHANAQIN) MEMORIAL

Country Iraq
Total identified casualties 542 Find these records
Casualties from Second World War
GPS Coordinates Latitude: 33.35467
Longitude: 44.38638

Location Information

The Memorial stands within Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery. This cemetery is located in a very sensitive area in the Waziriah Area of the Al-Russafa district of Baghdad. The main entrance to the cemetery is located opposite the College of Arts and the Institute of Administration in Baghdad University and adjacent to the Iraqi Cigarette Factory in Waziriah Area and the Press of Ministry of Defence.


Visiting Information

NOTE: Whilst the current climate of political instability persists it is extremely challenging for the Commission to manage or maintain its cemeteries and memorials located within Iraq. Alternative arrangements for commemoration have therefore been implemented and a two volume Roll of Honour listing all casualties buried and commemorated in Iraq has been produced. These volumes are on display at the Commission's Head Office in Maidenhead and are available for the public to view. The Commission continues to monitor the situation in Iraq and once the political climate has improved to an acceptable level the Commission will commence a major rehabilitation project for its cemeteries and commemorations. Before considering a visit to Iraq the Commission strongly recommends that you check the advice given by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on the travel section of their website: www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/

History Information

During the Second World War, Khanaqin saw no fighting, but in June 1941 it became an advanced base for Commonwealth forces and a field hospital was established there. The cemetery was begun in 1942 for the burial of servicemen who died of illness or by accident while serving with PAIFORCE. A large number of Polish servicemen who had been prisoners of war in Russia made a very long and arduous march to link up with the Commonwealth forces in Iraq, arriving at Khanaqin by September 1942. Together with the 3rd Carpathian Division already in the Middle East, they formed the Polish Army in the East, remaining in the Khanaqin area for some time, organising, training and assembling equipment. Weakened by the hardship they had endured and in poor health, a number of the Poles died at Kanaqin and were buried in the cemetery. Due to its location and access difficulties, Khanaqin War Cemetery became impossible to maintain and in 1965, it was decided to construct a memorial in Baghdad (North Gate) Cemetery to commemorate the 104 Commonwealth servicemen, 437 Polish soldiers and 3 Arab Legionnaires buried there. Baghdad (North Gate) cemetery in which the memorial stands contains burials of both wars.

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