Body of South Yorkshire man killed fighting Islamic State handed to his family

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield
Konstandinos Erik Scurfield
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The body of a Barnsley man killed while fighting against Islamic State has been handed over to his family at the Syrian-Iraqi border.

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, 25, an ex-Royal Marine from Royston, died near the Syrian city of Qamishli on March 2.

He had joined the Kurdish People’s Protection Units as a volunteer fighter and was killed while fighting alongside Kurdish forces in the frontline village of Tel Khuzela.

His coffin was handed over to his father and uncle in a ceremony involving hundreds of Syrian Kurds.

Mr Scurfield’s father, Chris, told the BBC the ceremony had been ‘very special and very comforting’ to his family.

His coffin was draped with a Kurdish flag and a Union Jack.

Administrative paperwork will need to be completed before Mr Scurfield’s body can be flown back to the UK.

Mr Scurfield, an expert in battlefield medicine, is believed to have travelled to Syria three or four months ago.

In a statement, his family said: “We are devastated to confirm the death of our son Konstandinos Erik Scurfield in Syria where he went to support the forces opposing Islamic State.

“His flame might have burned briefly but it burned brightly with love, courage, conviction and honour and we are very proud of him.”

Mr Scurfield was the first Briton to be killed while fighting Islamic State in Syria.