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Family of dead Gambian-British soldier demands answers

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The family of a 19-year-old Gambian- British soldier who died in his barracks in unexplained circumstances have said they are heartbroken and struggling to get closure.

Ebrima Nyabally, who followed in his dad’s footsteps by signing up aged 17, was found dead in his room at the base in Tidworth at 9pm on February 25.

Malang Nyabally said his eldest son had been put on a unit risk register the previous day but insisted he had ‘never been unhappy’ during his service.

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Describing Ebrima as a shy, generous and kind young man who had his whole life ahead of him, Mr Nyabally said the family have been left in the dark over the incident and not allowed to see the young man’s body. He added: “I am so angry about everything. I wanted to see his body. I wanted to see the place where he did it. We want answers. What hurts us most is that we cannot see his face. We do not know what we are going to find. I was so proud of him. He was the one who would have carried on my legacy. I am absolutely heartbroken. He did not die in the war, he died in the barracks,” he said.

An inquest is underway for Ebrima, who moved with his family from Gambia to the UK when he was 6 years old.

Mr Nyabally was told of his son’s death while working a night shift, adding: “I struggled to drive home that night. It is difficult to put into words how I felt.”

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The veteran said delivering the news to Ebrima’s three siblings was ‘the worst thing that I had to do’. He continued: “On the last day they spent together, Ebrima bought him a takeaway. They loved him very much.He was very generous. He used to send us £100 every month. He was very caring. He had a very strong faith as well. He has never been unhappy in the army. Ebrima loved life.”

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