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Last Updated: Friday, 18 April, 2003, 08:24 GMT 09:24 UK
NI troops uncover graveyard
Commanding Officer Lt Colonel Tim Collins led a team of officers in search of the cemetery
Royal Irish Regiment troops have found an abandoned WW1 military graveyard on the banks of the River Tigris in Iraq.

Members of the Connaught Rangers are among the 5,000 names of the dead from the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force on the granite memorial in al Amara.

The cemetery was abandoned by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission after the last Gulf War, but a local man preserved the monument.

On Sunday, Royal Irish Padre Phil Bosher will host an Easter Service there.

Commanding Officer Lt Colonel Tim Collins led a team of officers in search of the cemetery after hearing of its existence from local townspeople.

"This is now a matter for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission but the Royal Irish will be conducting their Easter service here in memory of all those who fell the first time we came this way."

In addition to the Connaught Rangers, a further two other Irish regiments are listed, the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars and the Royal Irish Fusiliers.

The names of the fallen, along with a tribute to 925 unknown soldiers, are carved into eight grey panels overlooking the cemetery.




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