The family and friends of a soldier described as a “born leader of men” stood quietly yesterday as they watched his body repatriated to the UK.
Lance Corporal Gajbahadur Gurung, from the Royal Gurkha Rifles serving with the 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, died after he received a fatal gunshot wound while on foot patrol on January 27.
The body of the 26-year-old was flown to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, where, following a private ceremony, the cortege left to travel to Oxford.
The cortege was escorted at walking pace as it approached the memorial garden in Carterton, driving past Royal British Legion standards.
L/Cpl Gurung leaves behind his wife Manisha, who lives in Germany, and his father Gum Bahadur, mother Lekh Maya, his brother Buddha and sister Junu.
The Nepalese soldier was serving as a part of Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (North), and was a member of an International Security Assistance Force foot patrol to disrupt insurgent activity. Known as “Gaj” he had been deployed to Afghanistan three times.
Lieutenant Colonel Dan Bradbury, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, said: “His peers in Delhi Company and all of us in the chain of command knew him as an intelligent, charismatic and inquisitive natural leader of men.”
L/Cpl Gurung joined the Brigade of Gurkhas in 2004 at British Gurkhas, Pokhara, Nepal, and was posted to 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment in 2009.