SLAIN British Army soldier Private Ratu Manasa Silibaravi was yesterday awarded the Elizabeth Cross at a solemn funeral service in Kinoya.
The Elizabeth Cross is awarded to the recognised next of kin of British Armed Forces soldiers killed in action or as a result of a terrorist attack after the second world war.
Acting British High Commissioner Martin Fidler presented the Elizabeth Cross to the family of Private Silibaravi.
Private Silibaravi, 32, was killed with Corporal Andrew Steven Roberts on May 4 in an indirect fire attack while serving in the Nahre Saraj district of Afghanistan.
His funeral at the Kinoya Methodist Church was attended by hundreds of family and friends as well as representatives of the British Army and the British High Commission.
Private Silibaravi's commanding officer, Major Derren Battersby of the 23 Pioneer Regiment Royal Logistic Corps said the Fijian was an "ideal soldier."
Maj Battersby said: "He was intelligent and thoughtful by nature and performed all of his soldiering duties with a smile on his face."
He said Private Silibaravi had accomplished more in his 10 years of service than some soldiers would in a lifetime.
He said it was an honour to have known Private Silibaravi and to have brought him home to Fiji.
Private Silibaravi's grandmother Ulamila Silibaravi said her grandson had a caring spirit, one that would be missed by all who knew him.
While his loss had brought great grief to his family, Mrs Silibaravi said they were happy knowing he had gone to meet his creator- the Lord Almighty.