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Solving a Mystery at Ma'Asker RAF Cemetery

This morning I was contacted by yet another descendent (10 as at the 18th January 2023) of a man who had died in service ‘between the wars’ in Iraq but whose manner of death and final resting place had not been passed on to his relatives in England. In this particular instance it was the niece of one AC1 Thomas Arthur Cemery of 70 Squadron RAF, who died from Typhoid on the 27th March 1930 and was buried at Ma’Asker in Plot 1 Row A Grave 3. Until she came across his name on my website, Judith Cemery was under the impression from her late father that her uncle had died from Typhoid whilst serving on a ship of the British Navy and his body buried at sea. After searching my records, I was able to confirm that her uncle had indeed been buried at Ma’Asker as well as provide her with a photograph of his damaged headstone (see below). What I was unable to do, however, was to provide Judith with a satisfactory answer as to why not more was being done to honour the dead at Ma’asker by restoring the cemetery to its former condition as a matter of urgency, especially as less than nine miles away, those who had died ‘between the wars’ and been fortunate enough to have been buried at Baghdad North Gate Cemetery instead of Ma’Asker lay in a well-tended cemetery instead of a former Iraqi rubbish dump. I wonder many more families must I disappoint before I can demonstrate to them that real progress is being made in restoring the Ma’Asker al Rashchid RAF Cemetery?


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