6 Squadron, RAF Hinaidi and Ma'Asker Cemetery
Hinaidi RAF Cemetery (Ma'Asker Al Raschid) - Dimensions
The Hinaidi RAF Peace Cemetery (Renamed the Ma'Asker Al Raschid RAF Cemetery when the RAF Hinaidi air base was handed over to the Iraqi government in 1937) has long been abandoned and has over time 'fallen between the cracks' with regards the CWGC maintenance of the headstones and the security of the site itself. Below are satellite images overlaid with dimensions of the cemetery as well as a copy of the 1964 Commonwealth War Graves official layout and allocation of graves.
2019 Satellite Photograph of the Hinaidi RAF Peace Cemetery
The satellite image below (marked with the outline of the cemetery) shows the volume of traffic that driven diagonally across the cemetery. Fortunately, as can be seen by the lower two images, very few graves were at risk of being damaged.
Royal Air Force Casualties at Hinaidi RAF Peace Cemetery
In trying to determine the exact grave locations for two 6 Squadron men who died in a flying accident in 1922 (see the story on Flying Officer Edwin Ffoulkes-Jones), I contacted Dr Christopher Morris of the RAF Habbaniya Association who was able to provide some of the missing pieces of the jigsaw. Dr Morris also provided me with maps of Iraq (one as it was in the 1920's and another drawn in 1944) as well as a list of Royal Air Force personnel who died whilst in service and were buried at the RAF Hinaidi military cemetery, located in the Zafaraniyah district to the south-east of Baghdad, between the Zafaraniyah road (the old route to Kut and Amarahnext) and Rashid airport. 6 Squadron was one of many Royal Air Force squadrons stationed in Iraq at one time or another and the squadron moved from Baghdad West to Hinaidi in October 1922. By comparing the names against the 6 Squadron Book of Remembrance I conducted my own research over a period of twelve months with the kind assistance of Peter Burlton, researcher for the RAF Habbaniya Association. In summary, 197 of the the total number of 300 graves at Hinaidi belong to Royal Air Force personnel, the remainder for 72 British Army personnel, 2 Royal Navy men, 29 civilian contractors (including 5 women) and 1 baby girl who was only eight months old at the time of her death. I also researched the service records of the RAF aircrew, many of whom were decorated WW1 veterans. Click HERE for details.