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In April 1915, the Indian Expeditionary Force 'D', which had landed at Fao the previous November, began its advance inland with the intention of clearing Turkish forces out of south-west Iraq. Amara was occupied in early June and the advance continued along the line of the Euphrates to Nasiriya, and along the Tigris to Kut, which was taken on 29 September. The advance to Baghdad was resumed on 11 November, but was brought to a standstill against the strong Turkish defences at Ctesiphon on 22-24 November. By 3 December, the force, comprising chiefly the 6th (Poona) Division of the Indian Army, was back in its entrenched camp at Kut, where they were besieged by Turkish forces. Heavy casualties were suffered in desperate but unsuccessful attempts to reach the town and raise the siege in January, March and April. The garrison was forced to capitulate on 29 April 1916 and nearly 12,000 men were taken prisoner, many of whom later died in captivity. The town was reoccupied by Commonwealth forces in February 1917 and at the end of June it became an administrative, railway and hospital centre. Kut War Cemetery was made by the 6th (Poona) Division between October 1915 and May 1916 and was increased in size when graves were brought in from other sites after the Armistice. The cemetery now contains 420 First World War burials.

Chris Marsh, USMC, (Photographs his copyright © 2008) was one of the U.S. Marines who came across the cemetery during the invasion of Iraq 2003. He was fortunate enough to assist in the clearing and photographing of the cemetery before the reconsecration.

Frederick Aubrey Hoghton, Brigadier General, General Staff, Indian Army (69th Punjabis) commanding 17th Infantry Brigade. Died 12th April 1916. Aged 52. Buried in KUT WAR CEMETERY, Iraq. Plot/Row/Section D. Grave 4.

Last updated 6 July, 2008

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