BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Saturday, 11 November 2006, 11:12 GMT
Remembrance Day - a chaplain's tributes
This year's Remembrance Day ceremonies will be especially poignant for the 3,500 soldiers of Britain's 20th Armoured Brigade, who are returning from their tour of Iraq this week.

Members of the Queen's Royal Hussars in Iraq
Anti-smuggling operations on the Iraq/Iran border

Seventeen British soldiers have been killed during the seven-month tour.

One of the brigade's tasks has been to try to stem the supply of arms and bombs that help sustain the Shia militias.

Working with the Iraqi security forces, the troops conducted roving patrols along the border with Iran in the troublesome southern Maysan Province.

Until recently, those soldiers were based in Camp Abu Naji, on the edge of the town of al-Amarah. The camp became a potent symbol of occupation to the insurgents and was regularly attacked.

Padre Andy Latifa
The Queen's Royal Hussars Padre, Andy Latifa

The Queen's Royal Hussars is one of the regiments within the brigade. The regiment's chaplain, Padre Andy Latifa, says soldiers leaving the camp would find themselves under prolonged RPG and small arms fire.

"While this was undoubtedly a far cry from the overwhelming horror witnessed by those on the battlefields of Ypres or Normandy, it was a very real threat to all who served".

Padre Andy Latifa says soldiers remember their fallen comrades all year-round - not just on Remembrance Day.

"In this atmosphere of conflict I was touched by the way we would pause to properly remember those who served and died in Maysan Province on the anniversaries of their deaths."

The 19 Light Brigade, based in Catterick, North Yorkshire, is replacing the 20th Armoured Brigade in the region.

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific