Father speaks of visit to spot where son was killed in Iraq


Naomi Penrose

A PROUD father has travelled to Iraq to see the spot where his son was killed in a rocket attack.

Geoff Dunsmore made the personal pilgrimage to Basra, where his 29-year-old son Chris died on July 19, 2007, to film a documentary for the BBC to mark the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War.

Senior Aircraftsman Chris Dunsmore became the first RAF reservist to be killed in combat since the Second World War.

“When asked to fly out to Basra for the documentary I said ‘yes’ straight away, and I am so glad I did,” explained Geoff, of Snead, near Bishops Castle.

“I was positive before I went out there, but I am even more passionate now.
“It was an absolute honour to go out to Iraq and meet the local people and hear their views and feel their warmth.”

The BBC documentary is called ‘Iraq: Did my son die in vain?’

But despite the name of the documentary the grieving 57-year-old says the question has never crossed his mind.

“That has never been my question,” said Geoff.

"Chris’ role out there was a peace keeper and the people I met out there were very sympathetic and also very grateful of the work he did.

“One of things he did was bring water to a village.

“He was such an incredibly positive person.”

Chris was killed in a rocket attack in Basra on the day he was due to return home.

He had been a member of 504 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment at RAF Cottesmore.

"It was a privilege to meet the ordinary people of Iraq and feel their genuine warmth and thanks to our armed forces,” added Geoff.

"The country has a long way to go, but it is heading in the right direction."

The BBC documentary was aired on BBC Two earlier last week and is now available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Mr Dunsmore also revealed that he plans to hold some public speaking event in the future about Chris and the part in played in the Iraq war.


To view the documentary on iPlayer, click: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01rgrn9/This_World_Iraq_Did_My_Son_Die_in_Vain/

See full story in the County Times

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