UK personnel deployed to Nigeria on Operation TURUS have assisted the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in refurbishing the military cemetery in city of Maiduguri, the location of a World War 2 RAF airfield. The work was completed in time to allow the British Forces stationed there to conduct a Remembrance ceremony on 11 November, led by a Nigerian Army Padre.
Personnel with the Operation TURUS UK Liaison and Support Team are in Maiduguri to assist the efforts of the Nigerian Army in countering the activities of Boko Haram in the North East of Nigeria.
“Although the focus of remembrance this year will be the end of the First World War, here in Nigeria this has been a reminder that UK personnel are still serving in dangerous conditions where our predecessors made the ultimate sacrifice."
Lieutenant Colonel Simon Doyle
“RAF Maiduguri was a key element in the ‘Takoradi Route’, a passage for men and aircraft to get to the Egypt and the Middle East. It is fitting that an operation that started with RAF aircraft once again deploying to Nigeria is in a position to remember the past."
Squadron Leader Andy Bates
Operation TURUS Chief of Staff
The rebuilding of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site has been a long-term project that has been handed over as the Teams have rotated through. Flight Lieutenant Matt Ostler had the privilege of seeing the rebuilding work completed. He said “many of my friends have helped the project along; and it is a honour to be the one here in Maiduguri to see the work finished”.