Socialist Worker

British Iraq casualties are victims of a senseless war

Relatives of soldiers who have died in Iraq speak out

Issue No. 1915

‘I think anger is a good word to describe how we feel. He’d gone there thinking it was not a war zone.

When we first heard he was going to Iraq we thought it was ridiculous that someone so young, who had just come out of basic training, was sent there.

He’d just left school, and the next thing he’s in Iraq. He phoned his mum on Sunday and said, “It’s getting scary.” He was due home the following Wednesday – he only had a few days left.

I’ve always thought it was a senseless war because we had no right to be there. My message to Tony Blair is that we should not be in Iraq.

Why are we there? They should get the rest of the kids home.’

Margaret Evans, aunt of Private Lee O’Callaghan, 20, who was killed in Basra on Monday of last week


‘How many more? It is 64 just now.

I do not want that number to go any higher. Get them home.’

Christine Morgan, mother of Private Marc Ferns, 21, who died in Iraq on Thursday of last week


‘How long is it going to take them to realise that it is not doing any good?

It is going to be too late by the time they are all dead, and they are going to realise it was wrong.’

Ann Fury, mother of Amy, Marc Ferns’s one year old daughter


‘It’s supposed to be over. The handover has taken place. It’s just crazy. Now get them home.’

Tracy Dudgeon, Marc Ferns’s sister


‘Mr Blair owes me the life of one son – a debt he can’t repay. It would be a step in the right direction if he apologised to me and resigned.

I said in my previous letter that I felt that somewhere, in the deep recesses of his mind, there may be the merest phantom of a thought that I might be right.

I will write to him now and say, “There you are. I was right. You fundamentally got it wrong.” I will ask him how he intends to repay me for the loss of my son.’

Reg Keys, father of Thomas Keys, who was killed in June 2003


‘It’s a war that should never have been fought.

I just wish all the troops were back home – Americans and English.’

Christine Brierley, mother of Shaun Brierley, one of the first British soldiers killed


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