Soldiers tell of service in Iraq

Soldiers from the region who are serving in war-torn Iraq have spoken about their experiences.

Private Martyn Roach, 26, from Wellingborough, and Private Danny Towns, 19, from Kettering, are helping to train members of the Iraqi security forces.

Pte Roach said: "Training the Iraqis has not been too bad and sometimes it is quite fun.

"We did an exercise where I played the enemy and the Iraqis had to come and capture me and throw me on their wagon.

"They were so happy to speak to me and know where I was from and hear all about it. They are really friendly."

Pte Towns said: "It's been good doing the training days but I was expecting to be a bit more active, especially in the infantry.

"Teaching the Iraqis how to do strike operations was good fun."

Both men are serving with the C (Northamptonshire and Rutland) Company of 2 Royal Anglian Regiment, nicknamed the Poachers, at the Shaibah Logistics Base, on the outskirts of Basra.

Since arriving at the base earlier this year the company has been working with Iraqi forces, training and mentoring them, and working to create new military transition teams for strengthening the Iraqi security forces.

And the lads are feeling positive about their role in the conflict zone.

Pte Towns said: "The work we are doing is really benefiting the country."

Soldiers from our area are also serving with C Company, and other companies of 2 Royal Anglian, at eight other camps around Basra and in the city itself.

At Shaibah the two armies, British and Iraqi, live in camps next to each other.