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  • Christina Drummond

Rifleman Suraqj Gurung, 1st Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2010, Rifleman Suraj Gurung, 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, died in Afghanistan. He was serving as part of Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (South) when he was killed by a suicide bomber during a follow-up foot patrol after an attack on his patrol base. Born and raised in Nepal, he passed the gruelling process for Gurkha selection into the army in 2007; he was the first member of his family to achieve this, although his grandfather and father had both served with the British in India. Due to his excellent command of English and his intelligence he was selected as platoon radio operator, a position normally reserved for a senior Rifleman. He was then selected as lead man in his patrol for the upcoming tour to Afghanistan. He is remembered as always confident and calm under pressure - as the point man of every patrol he led his multiple across daunting and uncertain terrain, and for six months he had been finding IEDs and selecting safe routes. His C.O. said: "I personally will remember him for his trademark booming voice cheerfully singing out ‘morning sahib’ as he passed my office on his way to breakfast each day. Tomorrow there will be no such greeting. Rifleman Suraj was the life and soul of his multiple." Rifleman Suraj was 22 years old and recently married.

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