Staffordshire Regiment to remember Gulf War operation at National Memorial Arboretum unveiling

Veterans from the 1st Battalion of The Staffordshire Regiment will gather for the unveiling of a new memorial in Alrewas.

It is 25 years since Operation Granby – the military name for the Gulf War – ended in March 1991 and to mark the milestone a new area has been created at the National Memorial Arboretum.

More than 50,000 troops, including many from the 1 Staffords who were redeployed from training for Northern Ireland, took part in the battle against Saddam Hussein’s forces in Iraq and Kuwait.

A spokesperson said: “The Battalion had undergone intensive training in Canada in the summer of 1990, so was known to be in good order and well trained.

“Warrior combat vehicles were prepared – painted for desert conditions – and training began in earnest. This training included desert navigation, first aid, nuclear biological and chemical warfare training and fitness and acclimatisation.

“In late October 1990 the Battalion flew to Saudi Arabia. Initially, soldiers had to deal with a severe lack of equipment – for instance there were 856 people, but only 250 camp beds.

“The first three months were spent taking part in gruelling training and the hot days, cold nights, sand that interfered with equipment and sandstorms that left everything full of grit posed their own problems.”

It wasn’t until January when the Battalion moved into Kuwait but the key moment came in February.

“The battalion fought in the ferocious Operation Desert Sabre – The liberation of Kuwait,” the spokesperson added.

The Gulf War Memorial Trust will unveil the Operation Granby Memorial on February 28 and members of the Staffordshire Regimental Association have been invited to attend. There will also be a regimental dinner, an all-ranks lunch and a get-together in Lichfield the day before.

A spokesperson for the association added: “Veterans have also expressed their gratitude for the extraordinary support shown to them by the people of Staffordshire and the Black Country, who wrote, sent parcels and welcomed them home.

“They would be delighted to meet these supporters again at the memorial unveiling.”

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