Funeral of soldier who disappeared from checkpoint

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THE funeral of Rifleman Scott McLaren is to be held in his home city tomorrow (Tues).

The 20-year-old died from gunshot wounds after he disappeared from his army checkpoint in Afghanistan.

It is believed the soldier with the 4th Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, left his post to try to recover a pair of night vision goggles dropped on patrol.

The incident took place on 4 July and the exact circumstances of his death remain unclear.

His funeral will take place tomorrow at Mortonhall Crematorium in Edinburgh.

Parents James and Ann, sister Kirsty and brothers James and Ross will gather with friends to say goodbye to their loved one.

His family have requested that any donations should be made in his memory to the Royal British Legion or Help for Heroes.

Comrades today (Mon) paid moving tributes to the fallen soldier.

Captain Callum MacLeod, Officer Commanding Fire Support Group and Multiple Commander, D Company, The Highlanders, 4th Batallion, said:

“He was the perfect example of what makes a Scottish soldier great.

“He was cool under pressure and unrelenting in the face of the enemy. “

The soldiers who risked their lives alongside him described him as

“a cheeky wee man, with a cheeky grin and a great wee soldier, but a big loss and will never be forgotten.”

Major James Cross said:

“He was a man who always saw the best in people and never had a bad word to say about anybody.

“As a soldier he consistently strove to excel in whatever task he undertook. “

And Major Justin Barry said:

“Highlander Scott McLaren will be remembered as the quiet, yet fiercely dedicated and loyal, member of the Company who would think nothing of putting himself at a disadvantage as long as it benefitted someone else.

“Generous to almost a fault with his money, expertise or just willingness to listen to an issue or concern whatever the time of day, he was the team member who revelled in the camaraderie that the Army offers, the one you could rely on to complete a job without complaint or hesitation. “

Military sources said an unusually high number of tributes had been released by the MoD in Rifleman McLaren’s case.

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