It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Rifleman Remand Kulung, from G (Tobruk) Company, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire), attached to the Danish Battle Group, died on Thursday 12 August 2010 of wounds sustained in Afghanistan.
In the early hours of 10 August 2010, a Chinook helicopter was conducting a resupply at Patrol Base Bahadur. Part of the helicopter came into contact with a sangar near to an accommodation area where Rifleman Remand was resting.
The sangar collapsed and Rfn Remand sustained serious injuries. He was evacuated to Bastion Role 3 hospital before subsequently being moved to the United Kingdom for further treatment.
At 1258hrs on 12 August 2010, Rfn Remand Kulung died of his injuries in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, with his family present.
Rifleman Remand Kulung
Rfn Remand Kulung was 27 years old and from Basaha, Barshedanda, Nepal. He joined the Royal Gurkha Rifles in December 2004 and joined 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles (1 RGR) in November 2005 in Folkestone, Kent.
During his career, Rfn Remand has served twice in Afghanistan; in 2008 and 2010. He moved with G (Tobruk) Company (a Gurkha reinforcement company) to 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) [1 MERCIAN] in January 2009. Whilst with the Battalion, he served on exercise in Kenya and on operations in Afghanistan.
G (Tobruk) Company has been attached to the Danish Battlegroup in the Upper Gereshk Valley in Helmand province since April 2010. The Company has been providing security to the local population from a series of small patrol bases in order to promote Afghan governance and economic development.
Rfn Remand’s platoon has been operating from Patrol Base Bahadur, north west of Forward Operating Base Khar Nikah.
Rfn Remand’s wife, Sophy, paid this tribute to her husband. She said:
My husband, Rifleman Remand Kulung, was a kind, brave and very honest soldier. He has always been sincere and devoted towards his responsibilities as a soldier, which Gurkha soldiers are renowned for.
He sacrificed his great life while he was doing his duty. Though it was a great loss that can not be replaced, his passing has left me the reason to be proud of being a wife of a brave soldier like him.
He’ll be missed by me and my family forever.
Lieutenant Colonel Andy Hadfield, Commanding Officer 1 MERCIAN, said:
Rifleman Remand Kulung was a member of the Royal Gurkha Rifles serving with the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) on operations in Afghanistan.
He was a courageous, fit and highly capable soldier, committed to his profession and to his comrades. He had already served in Bosnia and had spent six long months in Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 7 with his own regiment.
On his return from that tour he volunteered to serve with the Mercian Regiment, knowing that they were due to come to Afghanistan in 2010, his second tour in Helmand province.
He had passed the highly demanding junior leadership course and was awaiting promotion - it undoubtedly would have come.
A passionate supporter of Manchester United, and a man possessing of a natural and sharp sense of humour, Remand Kulung settled into life with the men of the North West of England superbly.
He had a lively nature, and lifted the morale of those around him, whether Nepali or British.
I will remember him as a Battalion character, one with strength and courage of every kind.
He was the epitome of the Gurkha soldier; brave, determined and dedicated to his fellow soldiers. His loss is keenly felt by all in the 1st Battalion, to whom he selflessly gave his all.
Our thoughts are with his wife, Sophy, and his family and friends.
Lieutenant Colonel Gerald Strickland MBE, Commanding Officer 1 RGR Battlegroup, said:
Rifleman Remand Kulung exemplified everything that is good in a Gurkha. He was a selfless man. Everything he did was for others.
I have been struck by the fact that every one of his close friends has told me how he was always there for them with gentle support and a real commitment to help. When others were tired, he was the one who stayed up; when others were struggling, he was the one who stayed with them. He was never angry, and always there with a joke or a light word.
He was passionate about soldiering and was always keen to learn new skills, but he also had a passion for life, and he would take the opportunity to travel to learn more about the world.
He shared his wonderful human spirit with all whom he met, but above all he was devoted to his wife and family, whose grief will be unbearable at this time.
Rest in Peace Rifleman Remand, we are immensely proud that you were a Gurkha.
Major Nick Aucott, Officer Commanding G (Tobruk) Company, 1 MERCIAN, said:
It is always difficult to come to terms with the death of a soldier and this is especially the case with a soldier like Rifleman Remand.
Remand was a kind, tough, honest soldier. He typified the stoic infantryman that has earned the Gurkhas such a renowned reputation.
But more than the death of a fine soldier, the officers and men of G (Tobruk) Company have lost a wonderful friend.
Rifleman Remand had soldiered with us in the difficult conditions of the Upper Gereshk Valley for four months, never uttering a word of complaint, but instead, offering advice or a kind word, teasing and joking with his platoon and fighting bravely against a skillful enemy.
This is how he will be remembered; as a man that simply got on with his job, a man widely admired and respected for his professionalism and character.
At the time of his death, Rifleman Remand was based in a small patrol base from where he enabled the local population to build better lives for themselves.
His passing will affect us deeply, but our resolve will be hardened to ensure that we honour his efforts alongside us.
We have lost a wonderful friend and colleague but our loss is as nothing compared with that of his wife, Sophy, and my thoughts and prayers are with her at the most difficult of times.
Colour Sergeant Lalit Gurung and the members of 12 Platoon, G (Tobruk) Company, 1 MERCIAN, said:
Rifleman Remand has been a true role model soldier for as long as we have known him. Most importantly he was a true friend to everyone in the Company.
His contribution towards our success has made an enormous impression on us all. Now God has torn him apart from us and shattered us.
We would like to share this difficult time with his family and would like to pray to God for him to Rest in Peace. We will never forget you brother.
Sergeant Dugendra Tamang, G (Tobruk) Company, 1 MERCIAN, said:
Rifleman Remand was like a brother to me; a good friend and a true Gurkha. Hard working, bright, courageous, jovial, fearless and a pleasant character were his hallmarks.
I still remember the times spent with him and find quite it difficult to digest the news of his demise. Prior to his leave, he was very glad to meet David Beckham in Camp Bastion. He was full of life and enjoyed every moment to the fullest.
He was also the first person within the Company to find an IED that was subsequently dealt by the Counter-IED Team to make the area safe for both his fellow soldiers and local people.
He will truly be missed by everyone. In this sad moment, my deepest condolences go out to his bereaved family and close friends. He will be sorely missed, but will always be remembered and will remain in our hearts forever.
Lance Corporal Lal Ghale, 12 Platoon, G (Tobruk) Company, 1 MERCIAN, said:
A few words to Remand. He was a brave soldier that I have worked with for almost six years. We were here in Afghanistan together in 2008 with the 1st Battalion the Royal Gurkha Rifles and fought the enemy side by side, and have done so again here with 1st Battalion the Mercian Regiment.
I can say with full confidence that he has done a fantastic job out here and he has left this world trying to provide security and by taking the fight to the enemy. I am very proud of him and he will always be in my heart. I pray to God to take him to heaven from this battlefield.
Rifleman Farendra Gurung, 10 Platoon, G (Tobruk) Company, 1 MERCIAN, said:
My dearest friend Remand. I am very sad to hear of your untimely death. You were the most entertaining person in our platoon and you did the most important job in the platoon by putting yourself at the front of others and protecting us all.
You were dearly missed during leave for your character and personality. You always made us laugh and made time fly. We now miss you very much but will remember you always in our hearts and minds. May your soul rest in peace in heaven. Missing you desperately my brother.
Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:
As many of his comrades have made clear, Rifleman Remand Kulung was a courageous and highly capable soldier who was committed to his profession and to them.
Many speak of his kind words and gentle support he offered to his fellow soldiers. There is no doubt he would have gone on to be a successful leader within the Battalion, and his loss is a matter of immense sadness for us all.
My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family and friends he leaves behind.