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Last Updated: Monday, 13 June 2005, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
My Day in Iraq: UK soldier
As part of the BBC News website's One Day in Iraq coverage on 7 June, we heard from people from all walks of life, all over the country.

LCpl Terry Findlay described his day on patrol with the Royal Anglian Regiment, part of the UK deployment in al-Faw, southern Iraq.

The mornings here are beautiful - clear bright skies before an early sunrise at about 0600.

LCpl Findlay in al-Faw market
Image: LCpl Findlay takes a stroll around al-Faw market
I am based at Camp Driftwood on the edge of the fishing town of al-Faw on the tip of the al-Faw peninsula, the far south-eastern tip of Iraq.

A visit to the gym is the first activity of the day as only the mornings are cool enough to exercise in comfort. After a traditional army breakfast, I got ready for my first patrol of the day.

We were on the ground by 0730. Eight of us went in two Landrovers to al-Faw town for a routine security patrol around the market place.

As usual, the locals welcomed our presence and offered us cans of drink.

Life is relatively normal - locals making their way to work. The stench of rubbish is strong in the mornings.

We returned to Camp Driftwood at about 0900 and conducted a patrol debrief, reporting on the pattern of life and commenting on anything suspicious.

The rest of the morning was spent administrating my four-man team of soldiers.

Physical drain

The temperature crept up to mid-40C by lunchtime. You use up a lot of energy and water being out on patrol - it is physically demanding work in this sort of heat. The breeze from the Gulf is however, refreshing.

A vehicle check in al-Faw
Vehicle checks are part of the job
The rest of the day involved more administration - getting laundry sorted and writing a letter home.

We conducted another patrol this afternoon in two Landrovers, this time a basic ground defence patrol around Camp Driftwood checking likely areas from which attacks onto our camp might be launched.

There is unexploded ordnance everywhere around. Not surprising seeing as three major wars have been fought here in recent times.

Back to camp for some time off, then it was guard duty.


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