Bell tolls as bodies of dead Gurkha soldiers return to UK

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The families of two Gurkhas killed by a man wearing an Afghan police uniform sobbed as their bodies were repatriated to the UK yesterday.

Lieutenant Edward Drummond-Baxter and Lance Corporal Siddhanta Kunwar, of 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, were shot dead at a checkpoint in Helmand Province on October 30.

The men were killed in the latest “green-on-blue” attack on UK troops in Afghanistan, bringing the number of UK servicemen killed by Afghan soldiers or police to 11 this year.

The bodies of Lt Drummond-Baxter, 29, and L/Cpl Kunwar, 28, were flown into RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, where the Union flag-draped coffins were carried from the plane with full military honours.

Following private services, the two families arrived at the memorial garden in Carterton where they stood in silence along with more than 100 friends and well-wishers who fell quiet as a bell began to toll.

Royal British Legion standard-bearers slowly lowered their flags as family members started to sob when they caught sight of the cortege. As the cars pulled away there was a round of applause from others who had come to pay their respects.