Soldier shot dead in Afghanistan was former Rugby pupil

By Dan Santy Thursday 01 November 2012 Updated: 19/12 15:37

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Buy photos » Lieutenant Edward Drummond-Baxter, a former Bilton Grange School pupil, was one of the Gurkhas shot dead by a man wearing police uniform in Afghanistan. Picture courtesy of the MoD. (s)

ONE of the British Gurkhas shot dead in Afghanistan by a man wearing police uniform has been named as a former pupil at Bilton Grange School.

Lieutenant Edward Drummond-Baxter was killed on Tuesday (October 30) alongside Lance Corporal Siddhanta Kunwar of 1st Battaltion The Royal Gurkha Rifles.

Lt Drummond-Baxter, who was on his first deployment in Afghanistan, lived in County Durham and boarded at Bilton Grange Prepatory School in Rugby between the ages of nine and 13.

The 29-year-old was attending a meeting with Afghan uniformed policement at Check Point Prrang in southern Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand province, when one of the men opened fire.

He was shot dead along with L/Cpl Kunwar, 28, from Pokhara, Nepal.

Lt Drummond-Baxter leaves behind his mother, Helen, father, David, and sister, Emily.

In a statement, his family said: "Edward was fiercely loyal and totally sincere to his parents, sister and many friends who are mourning him today both in the UK and around the world.

"He loved the Gurkhas and died among friends doing the job he wanted to do."

The Ministry of Defence described Lt Drummond-Baxter as an outstanding field soldier who attended the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst and commissioned into 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles in December 2010.

After Sandhurst, he qualified as an infantry platoon commander and passed difficult jungle warfare training in Brunei to qualify as a jungle operations instructor.

He then led his platoon 'expertly' through mission training for Afghanistan and spent three months in Nepal on a language course, along with a further month helping with selections.

Lieutenant Colonel David Robinson, Commanding Officer 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, said: "Our battalion has lost a character, a true gentleman and an inspirational leader in Lieutenant Edward Drummond-Baxter.

"Edward, or 'DB' as he was often known, was one of life's true personalities; his Gurkha soldiers noticeably responded to his dedication to them but also to his great wit and humour. They would follow him anywhere.

"His natural empathy and rapport for his soldiers was evident to everyone; it was never a surprise to find him spending additional time with them, whether seeking to further their professional development or just enjoying their company. The tragedy of his loss is beyond words.

"He was also utterly courageous and had already proved himself such a calm and steady leader under fire that his men knew they were in the best of hands.

"He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. His brother officers will always remember him for his style, kindness and sense of fun and he truly endeared himself to all ranks as it was impossible not to be won over by his charm and positive personality.

"He combined his natural leadership with a mature, dedicated outlook and this was never more apparent than when he prepared his platoon for the challenges of the tour. I could not have been more proud of him."

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