Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2012, Lieutenant Edward Drummond-Baxter and Lance Corporal Siddhanta Kunwar, 1st Battalion, the Royal Gurkha Rifles (attached to 40 Commando Royal Marines) were killed in Afghanistan.
They were based in Checkpoint Prrang, in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province, participating in a meeting with members of the Afghan Uniform Police, when they were shot and killed by a man wearing an Afghan police uniform who had been attending the meeting.
Lieutenant Drummond-Baxter gained a BSc degree in Psychology and while at university was a member of his local Army Reserves regiment, the Honourable Artillery Company. He worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for two years then joined the army, qualifying as an Infantry Platoon Commander and Jungle Operations Instructor. Major Dave Pack said: "Edward was an outstanding officer; trustworthy, honest and exceptionally competent. He saw it as a privilege to command his Gurkhas. His robust and proactive nature combined with irrepressible cheerfulness made him perfectly suited to the austere conditions in which he was working. Brilliant with the locals, fearless on patrol, he operated with a calm confidence that gave us utter faith in him. He was inspirational, a shining example of what a Gurkha officer should be; professional, brave and selfless." Edward, from Peterborough, was 29 years old.
Lance Corporal Kunwar was on his third operational tour of Afghanistan. He had joined the army in 2005, also served in Bosnia-Herzegovina, then moved with 1 RGR to Brunei where he conducted extensive jungle training and qualified as a sniper. Lieutenant Colonel Matt Jackson said: "Lance Corporal Siddhanta Kunwar epitomised everything that a Gurkha should be; he was dedicated, professional and brave. This was his third deployment to Afghanistan and he was continuing to excel in everything that he did, but especially in his role as a sniper, where his fieldcraft skills were beyond reproach. It is clear that he thrived on the challenges that operations bring and enjoyed using the skills that he worked so hard to gain; he was never found wanting. He demonstrated the highest qualities of a Gurkha soldier and his legacy lives on in Delhi Company." Siddhanta, from Nepal, was 28 years old.