Battle of Danny Boy
The Battle of Danny Boy took place at Al Amara in Iraq on 14 May 2004, between British soldiers
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 and about 100 Iraqi insurgents, members of the Mahdi Army
Mahdi Army
The Mahdi Army, also known as the Mahdi Militia or Jaish al-Mahdi , was an Iraqi paramilitary force created by the Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in June 2003....


The insurgents ambushed a patrol of Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland is an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland....

 close to a checkpoint known as Danny Boy near Majar Al Kabir. The Argylls called in reinforcements from the 1st Battalion of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment
Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment
"PWRR" redirects here. For the railroad with these reporting marks, see Portland and Western Railroad.The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment is the senior English line infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Queen's Division...

, they were also ambushed and due to an electronic communications failure it was some time before further British relief arrived. While waiting for reinforcements the British were involved in one of the fiercest engagements they fought in Iraq. The fighting involving close-quarter rifle fire and bayonets. The fighting lasted for about three hours during which the British Army reported that 28 Iraqis were killed, and that the British suffered some wounded but that none were killed in the action.


Sergeant Brian Wood, of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment was awarded the Military Cross
Military Cross
The Military Cross is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces; and formerly also to officers of other Commonwealth countries....

 for his part in the battle.

On the 25 November 2009, Bob Ainsworth
Bob Ainsworth
Robert William Ainsworth is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Coventry North East since 1992, and was the Secretary of State for Defence from 2009 to 2010...

, then the British Minister of State for the Armed Forces
Minister of State for the Armed Forces
The Minister of State for the Armed Forces is a middle-ranking ministerial position, subordinate only to the Secretary of State for Defence, at the Ministry of Defence in Her Majesty's Government....

, announced that a retired High Court judge Sir Thayne Forbes would chair the Al Sweady inquiry into allegations that 20 Iraqis, taken prisoner during the battle, were murdered and that others were tortured. The British Ministry of Defence denies that the 20 were captured, but that 20 bodies were removed from the battlefield for identification and then returned to the families and that a further nine were taken prisoner and held for questioning but were not mistreated.
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