The Defence of Cimic House - Al Amaragh. Painting by David Rowlands


Oil on Canvas

August 2004: The battle Group based on 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal regiment took over responsibility for Maysan Province, Iraq, in April 2004. CIMIC House, the former residence of the Maysan Provincial Governor, is situated in the centre of Al Amaragh beside the River Tigris. The Coalition Provincial Authority (CPA) and Civil-Military Co-Operation (CIMIC) teams chose to use it as their base, and Y Company was deployed there to provide security. Following increasing tension in Iraq, an intense series of attacks by the Mahdi Militia against CIMIC House commenced on 5 August and lasted for a further 23 days. In temperatures of 50 degrees Centigrade, the British troops conducted an heroic defence, enduring long days and nights of sentry duty, night-fighting patrols around CIMIC House and repelling continuous small arms, rocket propelled grenade and mortar fire.

The garrison of CIMC House was routinely supplied by Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicles. In the yard below CIMIC House are Warriors of A and C Companies. (Call Sign Zero is the Warrior driven by Pte Johnson Beharry VC. The Y Company Sergeant Major WO2 (CSM) Dale Norman kneels beside the soldier firing the 51mm mortar. "Tigris" was a stray dog adopted by the company.

David Rowlands website