Funeral of solider killed in Afghanistan held in Edinburgh

The funeral of a "big-hearted and determined" young soldier who died in mysterious circumstances in Afghanistan has been held.

Several hundred mourners gathered to pay their respects to Highlander Scott McLaren in his native Edinburgh.

The 20-year-old, of the 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, was found dead with gunshot wounds hours after going missing in Helmand on July 4.

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Family, friends, members of the Royal Regiment and veterans of the British Legion attended the funeral at Mortonhall Crematorium, where his coffin, draped with a Union Jack and a wreath of poppies, was carried into the service by fellow soldiers as a piper played Flower Of Scotland.

Tributes to Scott, who was from Sighthill in Edinburgh, were read by Captain Gordon Law of 4 Scots, his uncle Duncan Smithyman and his 16-year-old brother Ross.

Addressing mourners, Captain Law said: "Scott was the perfect example of what makes a soldier great. He was a stalwart of his team. He was cool under pressure and unrelenting in the face of the enemy.

"Those that didn't know Scott often thought he was a quiet young lad. And for those that did he was a very keen lad."

He added: "He quickly became the most reliable and conscientious member of the team. Always happy to take on extra work and always happy to volunteer."

Captain Law said Scott had a "genuinely big heart" and while quiet, was the "master of the one-line put-down".

He said: "He was a man who put 100 per cent into everything, whether it was work or friendship. He had a fierce determination that was rare to see in one so young. Whatever the challenge, whatever the task, it was always Scott McLaren who was standing at the end."

Captain Law said Scott's death had left a hole in the battalion and the regiment, adding that he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

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