Hundreds greet coffin of Kurdish Briton killed fighting Islamic State

Hundreds of members of Britain’s Kurdish community gathered at Manchester airport on Friday, March 20, as the body of 25-year-old Konstandinos Erik Scurfield was repatriated from Syria. Photo: Michelle Livesey.

The former Royal Marine from Yorkshire is the first Briton to die fighting alongside Kurdish forces against Islamic State. He was shot dead on March 2 in Syria while fighting with Kurdish forces in Tel Khuzela.

People swarmed the hearse as it departed Manchester Airport, as these geo-located photos show.

A message from Scurfield’s family was read out to the crowd.

In an emotional address at a Newrouz reception at the British Parliament on Tuesday, the soldier’s mother, Vasiliki Scurfield said she was proud of her son’s courage. She described him as a humanitarian standing up for human rights.

“Konsta may not have been supporting British political interests with his actions, but he was supporting British values,” she said. She called for people to “name and shame” any person, state or organisation providing support to Islamic State.

In an interview with the BBC, Scurfield’s father described as “overwhelming” a ceremony in which his coffin was handed over at Syria’s border with Iraq on Saturday.

Below, his coffin is prepared.