Monday, August 16, 2010

Sapper Ishwor Gurung killed in Afghanistan

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Sapper Ishwor Gurung from 69 Gurkha Field Squadron, 21 Engineer Regiment, was killed in Afghanistan on Friday 13 August 2010.


On 13 August 2010, whilst constructing a new sangar to increase the protection and security of the soldiers in the camp, his Troop came under insurgent attack and Sapper Ishwor was caught in insurgent fire. Despite the best efforts of his Troop to save his life, Sapper Ishwor was killed in action.

Sapper Ishwor Gurung

Sapper Ishwor Gurung was born in Pokhara, Nepal on 15 October 1988. Having passed selection for the Brigade of Gurkhas in Pokhara on 14 December 2007, he went on to complete initial infantry training in Catterick, North Yorkshire and Combat Engineer training at the Royal School of Military Engineering in Minley. He was subsequently posted to 69 Gurkha Field Squadron, part of 36 Engineer Regiment in Maidstone Kent and trained as a Bricklayer and Concreter.

Sapper Ishwor spent the last year preparing for this, his first operational tour. This included a large scale construction exercise in Devon and mission specific training in Ripon North Yorkshire. He excelled throughout these activities, proving not only his burgeoning professional knowledge but his keen desire to deploy on operations in Afghanistan. He was an outstanding sportsman and had represented 36 Engineer Regiment in Divisional cross country competitions and boxed for his Squadron.

Sapper Ishwor had been working with his Troop in support of 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster's Battle Group, Combined Force Nad-e-Ali (North), improving the defences at Forward Operating Base SHAHZAD. On 13 August 2010, whilst constructing a new sangar to increase the protection and security to the soldiers in the camp, his Troop came under insurgent attack and Sapper Ishwor was shot by insurgent fire. Despite the best efforts of his Troop to save his life, Sapper Ishwor was killed in action.

The family of Sapper Ishwor Gurung have made the following statement:

"Our family is devastated with the news of Ishwor's death in Afghanistan on 13 Aug 10. Ishwor was 14 years old when his father died and he fully supported the family as a young man. He was a very caring and a very bright boy. He followed his father's footsteps, his father was a soldier in the Indian Army. He loved the Army and was very proud to be a Gurkha. I am proud that my son served in the British Army and that he died doing a job that he loved."

Lieutenant Colonel Bobby Walton-Knight Royal Engineers, Commanding Officer 21 Engineer Regiment Group said:

"Sapper Ishwor Gurung was an exceptionally good soldier. He was enormously proud to be a Queen's Gurkha Engineer, he loved his Squadron and, like every Gurkha Engineer, he loved soldiering. Sapper Ishwor had bags of energy and his motivation never faulted. Even after the longest of days, on the most demanding tasks in the toughest of conditions, he would have a huge smile on his face and be ready for more.

"His enthusiasm was infectious and his friends loved him for it. He was modest to a fault, polite and, even when covered in dust and mud, still managed to be immaculately turned out. He was exceptionally fit, almost unbeatable at cross country and unstoppable in the boxing ring. Although he was still young, his potential had already been spotted and it would not have been long before he made it as a non-commissioned officer.

"Sapper Ishwor died putting his own life in danger to provide protection for others. He was doing a job he loved and was surrounded by friends. It was an honour to have him with the Regiment; his death is an enormous loss to us all and in particular to The Queen's Gurkha Engineers. Our thoughts and prayers are with his mother Sunkumari, brother Ramprasad and sister Richa in Nepal, his wider family and his many friends."

Lieutenant Colonel Simon Hulme MBE Royal Engineers, Commanding Officer 36 Engineer Regiment said:

"The loss of Sapper Ishwor Gurung has dealt a heavy blow to all ranks of the Queen's Gurkha Engineers. He was immensely talented as a soldier, a sportsman and an individual. Sapper Ishwor set the example for his comrades to follow.

"Sapper Ishwor had a bright future ahead of him, his dedication and his ability to focus and apply his efforts in even the most difficult circumstances marked him out above his peers. His bright and enigmatic smile brought cheer to even the most difficult of situations.

"He was active in all that he did, thoughtful for those around him and incredibly loyal. His service within the Queen's Gurkha Engineers, although short, will never be forgotten; he has left his mark on all that he did and on all those that he met. He will be sadly missed. Our thoughts are with his mother and family at this difficult time."

3 comments:

  1. SO MANY SO YOUNG! GONE TOO SOON ,R.I.P brave soldiers xxx

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