New Zealand-born IDF Soldier, Killed Razing Tunnels, Laid to Rest

Born in New Zealand, 21-year-old staff sergeant Guy Boyland died in fighting in southern Gaza, four months before the end of his army service.

Alona Ferber
Alona Ferber
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Family of Guy Boyland, July 25, 2014.
Family of Guy Boyland, July 25, 2014.Credit: Gil Eliyahu
Alona Ferber
Alona Ferber

Mourners gathered in Kibbutz Ginosar near Lake Kinneret on Sunday to pay their respects to Israel Defense Forces Staff Sgt. Guy Boyland, 21, who died Friday in fighting in southern Gaza. Boyland was only four months away from completing his mandatory army service.

Born in New Zealand, Boyland immigrated to Israel when he was five-years-old with his parents, Glenn and Adva. He also leaves behind his older sister, Kim.

“Our beloved Guy, there is no consolation,” his Aunt Rotem Gofar, from Ginosar, said in a eulogy on behalf of his family on Sunday. Recalling “the long-haired ginger boy,” she described him as loving life, always surrounded by good friends, and always playing the guitar. “Music was an inseparable part of you, with the band you started you played the story of your life,” she said. “Blessed be your memory, we miss you already, the whole family.”

At the family home on Friday, Gofar, told reporters that “there are no words to describe the sorrow and the loss, not just his loss but all those who have been killed,” Reuters reported.

Israel’s Operation Protective Edge went into its 20th day Sunday, the 10th day of its ground incursion in the Strip. A total of 43 Israeli soldiers have been killed since Israel’s ground incursion began, along with more than 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza.

A combat soldier in the Israeli army’s Engineering Corps, Guy was twice recognized for outstanding IDF service. He had recently worked with weaponry, sewing bullet-proof vests, according to a biography read out at the service. “Some 4 months before being released (from IDF service), in a war in Gaza, while blowing up tunnels, killed by terrorists,” the biography read.

Speaking on behalf of the small kibbutz community, Michal Amir Ben Asher said, “Adva, Glen, Kim, beloved family members, small are the words," adding, “The simple and bitter truth is that Guy, with his death, bequeathed us life.”

“When they knocked on your door, it was as if they knocked on the door of each and every one of us,” she said. “We are trying, all this wonderful nation, thanks to Guy and his friends, to be strong on the home front for victory at the front,” she said.

Yossi Vardi, head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, laid a wreath on behalf of the regional council, and said that, “Jordan Valley residents embrace the family with warmth and love. The news that Guy fell unites us all in the difficult moments of the family, friends and the kibbutz.”

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