British WWI Miniature Medals with Iraq Bar, 1918
A set of three miniature medals commemorating the victory in WWI including a bar for service in Iraq.
“The more things change….” British involvement in Iraq during the First World War informed (to put it delicately) some of today’s challenges in the region. The British invaded what was then more broadly referred to as Mesopatamia and, after a stinging defeat by the Ottomans, eventually captured Baghdad in 1917. The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 laid the groundwork for the post-war division of the Ottoman Empire and granted the UK a mandate over Mesapotamia, the borders of which did not take into account the political and ethnic differences that comprised what would evolve into modern Iraq. These medals bear witness to that fateful involvement that cost Great Britain over 100,000 lives to say nothing of the consequences that would follow.