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Inquest heard Kendal soldier 'hanged himself' the day after the funeral of a colleague

Kingsman Ryan Ward Credit: Cumbria Ward

A young soldier from Kendal hanged himself the day after the funeral of a colleague whose killer he shot dead, an inquest has heard.

20-year-old Ryan Ward had gunned down an Afghan policeman who had killed two of his colleagues in a "shocking and horrible" ambush.

He had later gone to pay his last respects to 29-year-old Sargeant Gareth Thursby, at his funeral in Skipton, just 24 hours before his own death, the hearing was told.

Sargeant Thursby died alongside 18-year-old Private Thomas Wroe, whilst manning a checkpoint in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province on 15th September 2012.

A rogue Afghan policeman pretended to be injured in the road so they would help him, but then opened fire on the pair.

Kingsman Ward, who served in Alma Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, had gone to the funeral of Sargeant Thursby on 26th October, speaking to his dead colleague's widow.

The next day he was found hanging by his mother at the family home in Kendal, Cumbria.

The inquest at Kendal Magistrates' Court heard his death was "inexplicable" as Kingsman Ward had shown little, if any, signs of distress at what had happened in Afghanistan.

Kathryn Ward said her son appeared himself and did not talk about the incident when he returned to the UK in October last year, and it "never entered my head" that he may take his own life.

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