A British Asian man killed in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber has been paid tribute to by colleagues.
Suraj Gurung of the Royal Ghurkha Rifles received warm praise from commanding officer Major David Jones:
“He truly believed in the job that he was doing and took immense pride in the fact that he was helping people less fortunate than himself every single day.
”A cracking soldier, respected by all, he had unflinchingly led his multiple down some of the most daunting alleyways and across some of the most haunting ground, every single day for the last six months.
”He was one of the very best of his generation and almost certainly destined for promotion.
”I personally will remember him for his trademark booming voice cheerfully singing out ‘morning sahib’ as he passed my office on his way to breakfast each day. Tomorrow there will be no such greeting.”
Gurung who was obviously held in an extremely high regard by his fellow soldiers, is a reminder that Black Britons who continue to fight for the place they regard as home, often pay the ultimate sacrifice.
It is important that during this month in which we celebrate Black history and the countless contributions made to Britain by Black communities, we remember the men and woman in uniform who have given their lives in defence of this country often to be written out of the history books having done so, and often when their own rights were not recognised.
Over 10,000 men and women from the Caribbean. 100,000 people from Africa, and over 500,000 from India and modern day Pakistan fought for the ‘Mother Country’ against fascism during World War 2.
It is fitting that during Black History month we honour individuals like Gurung, and the Black Britons who continue to serve their country and pay tribute to them by continuing to fight for an equal society.
By Richard Sudan