Briton’s body handed over to family

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Published: Saturday 14th March 2015 by The News Editor

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The body of an ex-Royal Marine who was the first Briton to be killed while fighting against Islamic State (IS) has been handed over to his family, it was reported.

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, 25, from Barnsley, was shot dead on March 2 while fighting in Syria alongside Kurdish forces in the frontline village of Tel Khuzela.

His body was given to his father and uncle in a ceremony on the Syria-Iraq border involving hundreds of Syrian Kurds, the BBC said.

Mr Scurfield’s father, Chris, told the BBC the ceremony was “overwhelming” and “very special and very comforting” to his family.

His coffin was draped with the Kurdish and Union Flags and hundreds of people, including Kurdish fighters in the region, watched as it was loaded onto an ambulance to be taken to Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Foreign Office refused to comment on when his body might be repatriated.

Mr Scurfield, who was an expert in battlefield medicine, is believed to have travelled to Syria three or four months ago hoping to provide medical and humanitarian support.

He was said to have been “horrified by the atrocities being carried out by IS”.

His family, including archaeologist parents Chris and Vicci and his student sister Georgianna, said they were heartbroken but proud of him.

In a statement following his death they said: ” His flame might have burned briefly but it burned brightly with love, courage, conviction and honour and we are very proud of him.”

While high numbers of foreigners are known to have joined IS, around 100 Westerners – including several Britons – are thought to have travelled to fight alongside the Kurds.

Last month, a 19-year-old serving British soldier was returned to his unit after joining the Kurdish peshmerga.

Published: Saturday 14th March 2015 by The News Editor

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