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thedrifter
05-20-03, 07:34 AM
British cemetery in Iraq rededicated
Submitted by: Headquarters Marine Corps
Story Identification Number: 20035191268
Story by deployed forces



AL KUT, Iraq(May 8, 2003) -- Marines from Service Company, MEF Headquarters Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, held a rededication ceremony at Kut Cemetery in Al Kut May 8.

In April, Marines from Task Force Tarawa visited the small plot of land believed to be the final resting place for soldiers who fought in World War I as British troops sought an alternative route to the center of the Ottoman Empire. With Gallipoli a failing battle - the British decided to approach via Mesopotamia - now modern day Iraq.

The troops landed in Umm Quasr and moved north to Baghdad through the Tigris River valley. North of Al Kut but south of the capital, the British troops found they could push no further. They fell back to Kut where they were besieged for approximately six months. Many found their final resting place here.

The cemetery was overgrown with weeds and littered with trash. The headstones have been weathered and damaged; some were not visible due to the dense vegetation, some had toppled over and were broken.

The Marines of Task Force Tarawa felt the condition of the cemetery was appalling and decided to do something about it.

Eventually, the Marines replaced the centerpiece cross, restored headstones, cut the grass, removed the weeds and picked up the trash.

Lt. Gen. James T. Conway participated in the May 8 rededication. Some British soldiers also attended the event.

Sempers,

Roger



http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/image1.nsf/Lookup/2003519121017/$file/Cemetary6low.jpg

AL KUT, Iraq - Marines fromService Company, MEF Headquarters Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, raise the British flag at Kut Cemetary during a rededication ceremony in Al Kut May 8. Marines from Task Force Tarawa worked to repair the cemetery in April.

Photo by: Lance Cpl. Andrew P. Roufs

SchutzJJ@Juno.c
06-13-03, 12:41 AM
Thats a great pic!