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Gurkha's body flown back to UK

Picture courtesy Corporal Adrian Harlen
Picture courtesy Corporal Adrian Harlen

The body of a Nepalese soldier from Folkestone has been brought back to the UK.

Rifleman Yubraj Rai, 28, was serving with the 2nd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles when he was killed in a firefight on November 4.

He received a gunshot wound while working alongside a fellow Gurkha and died from his wounds despite receiving immediate medical treatment.

As with all soldiers killed overseas, Rifleman Rai’s body was brought back to RAF Lyneham. People in Wooton Bassett have been thanked by the Army for coming out and standing quietly to respect soldiers as coffins are driven through the Wiltshire town on their way from the airfield.

A sports fan and soldier, Rifleman Rai came from Khotang district in eastern Nepal.

Following in the footsteps of his uncle, he joined the British Army in January 1999. After recruit training, he joined the 2nd Battalion the Royal Gurkha Rifles in Brunei.

In 2000, Rifleman Rai was posted to D (Gurkha Reinforcement) Company, the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, where he served with distinction for two-and-a-half years. His soldiering skills were widely recognised on a number of successful operational tours including to Iraq, Sierra Leone, Bosnia and a previous tour in Afghanistan.

Rifleman Rai was a keen sportsman who enjoyed all competition, but his real passion was for football, at which he represented B Company. He was a fan of Manchester United.

He had been eager to deploy back to Afghanistan, and he volunteered to deploy with

5 Platoon to replace another rifleman who had fallen ill.

The Army has explained that he supported his mother, sister and three brothers as the family’s main earner.

Folkestone’s 2RGR are in Afghanistan as one of the Force Protection troops for the Commando Logistic Regiment, deployed as part of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines.

The Logistic Regiment is based in Camp Bastion and is responsible for running the hugely complex combat logistic patrols, which deliver supplies and kit to the UK troops stationed in various parts of Helmand province.

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