Folkestone Ghurka Dies in Afghanistan

A soldier killed in Afghanistan on Saturday has been named as Rifleman Vijay Rai; a Folkestone based Ghurka. He died from a gunshot wound after coming under fire at a checkpoint in Helmand Province

Rifleman Vijay's family said:

"Our family is shocked with the news of Vijay's death in Afghanistan on 15 October 2011. He was the youngest son. He followed his father's and brother's footsteps as his father and elder brother served as Indian Gurkhas and his middle brother is serving with Indian Gurkhas as a Sergeant. He rang his family a day before he was taken away from us.

"He was very proud to be a Gurkha, and died doing his chosen job. His father and family members are very proud of him."

Warrant Officer Class 2 Dillikumar Rai, A (Amboor) Company Serjeant Major, 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, said:

"Rifleman Vijay Rai, was a truly outstanding and bright Gurkha soldier with an extraordinary personality. He was young but highly respected by all members of the Company, and he never failed in his duty. He loved his job and performed extremely well during this, his first tour of Afghanistan. Rifleman Vijay was a man who would always volunteer for work, he was a great entertainer and a key player within his multiple.

"His sudden death will be felt by all of us and the memory of his life will never fade. I extend my most heartfelt condolences to his family and friends, and pray that his soul may rest in peace in heaven. He will always remain in our heart."

Rifleman Vijay Rai's cousin, Sergeant Hemkumar Rai, 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, said:

"The tragic death of Vijay was a huge shock to me and my family. He is still fresh in my mind and larger than life. I have no words at this stage that can capture our grief except chir shanti ko kamana."

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