Tom spends his Christmas in a presidential palace

A SOLDIER from Comet country spent the Christmas period in one of Saddam Hussein s former presidential palaces in Basra. Lieutenant Tom Beazley, 26, whose parents Christopher and Christiane live in High Street, Walkern, is currently working as a platoon c

A SOLDIER from Comet country spent the Christmas period in one of Saddam Hussein's former presidential palaces in Basra.

Lieutenant Tom Beazley, 26, whose parents Christopher and Christiane live in High Street, Walkern, is currently working as a platoon commander in B Company, 1st Battalion of the Royal Green Jackets.

He deployed to Iraq in November and lives and works from a palace in Iraq's second city.

Lt Beazley commands a platoon of 30 riflemen who patrol southern Basra protecting the teams training the Iraqi police as well as hunting the mortar teams that frequently target British bases.


You may also want to watch:


The Royal Green Jackets are traditionally a light infantry battalion specialising in soldiering on foot, but Lt Beazley also patrols Basra in armoured vehicles.

He said: "The best part of the job is working with the riflemen in the platoon out and about patrolling the streets of Basra.

Most Read

"But it brings with it a lot of pressure. They depend on me to plan a good patrol and lead them out there and bring them back safely."

Operations in the region did not stop for Christmas, but the close knit-regiment created some of their own seasonal cheer.

In place of the traditional turkey they enjoyed Christmas lunch along with 700 other soldiers in the buildings of one of Saddam's former palaces.

But thoughts of home are never far away and Lieut Beazley is looking forward to seeing his parents.

He said: "Things are going well out here and I am thinking about everyone. Don't forget to walk the dog Jazz and keep the letters coming.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter