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Private Joseva Saqanagonedau Vatubua mourned at service

By Samisoni Nabilivalu SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 26, 2011) - Relatives and friends converged at the Commonwealth War Cemetery yesterday to pay their last respects to Private Joseva Saqanagonedau Vatubua.

Also present at the burial were representatives from the British Army and the British High Commission in Fiji.

[PIR editor’s note: Private Joseva Saqanagonedau Vatubua of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 5th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland attached to the 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment was killed in Afghanistan on 1 January 2011. ]

After a short service at the Vatuwaqa Methodist Church, the funeral procession made its way to the Commonwealth War Cemetery where Pte Vatubua was laid to rest.

A bearer party from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, or Five Scots as they are commonly known, was present to accord Pte Vatubua a full military burial with honors.

His Company Sergeant Major (CSM) Scott Clark and other members of the party, who were there as representatives of their regiment, presented Mrs. Vatubua with the Battalion's Wreath, Pte Vatubua's medals, his head-dress, and white belt to the mournful sound of bagpipes.

Pte Vatubua's wife Claudette Vatubua and his nephew Ross Qiokata lingered at the side of his grave long after others had left and could not hold back their tears as they bid a final farewell to "Jo" as he was known to family members.

[PIR editor’s note: It has been reported that more than 2,000 Fijians serve in the British Forces.]

CSM Clark said Pte Vatubua was a respected soldier who was known as a dedicated worker and a humble man and was admired for his commitment to his duty and added he had left behind a vacuum in his company that would be hard to replace.

"It is a sad loss to the army and also to the family and we share our sympathy with his wife, Claudette, and to Jo's loved ones. We will miss him," said CSM Clark.

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