Corporal Lee Scott, 26, of The 2nd Royal Tank Regiment was killed during an explosion while taking part in Operation Panther’s Claw, just north of Nad-e Ali, Helmand province, on the morning of Friday 10 July 2009.
Corporal Scott was born in Ely and grew up in Kings Lynn, where he married Nicola (Nikki) in February 2008.
Nikki Scott, Lee’s wife:
Lee was not only my husband but my best friend, ask anyone who was lucky enough to have met Lee and they’d all tell you the same, he was the most loving, kindest, thoughtful person you could ever meet.
He was so full of life and permanently had a cheeky grin on his face. I am so proud to be his wife. As well as the army, his family were his life.
He was the best daddy to Kai and Brooke and he will live on through them. Lee will always be in our thoughts and hearts and greatly missed by his Dad, Mum, Kelly, Dean and Denise. This is a devastating loss to the whole family.
Lieutenant Colonel Marcus Simson, Commanding Officer 2 Royal Tank Regiment, said:
Corporal Lee Scott joined the Army in August 2002 shortly after his 19th birthday. Following the completion of his initial training at Winchester, and his trade training at Bovington, he joined the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment in Germany in April 2003. Trained as a tank crewman, Corporal Scott quickly established himself in the regiment. By 2005, he was deployed in Kosovo as a specialist surveillance operative and he was promoted to Lance Corporal ahead of his peers on his return.
He proved himself once again on operations in Iraq in 2007 and his performance as a Lance Corporal was such that in 2008, still aged 25, he was selected to become a Tank Commander; unheard of for someone so junior. Corporal Scott was promoted again into his current rank in October 2008 and he deployed to Afghanistan at the beginning of June this year, commanding a Viking Section. Courageous and a born leader, Cpl Scott was killed on 10th July 2009, aged just 26, leading his team from the front; a first class combat soldier.
Known as ‘Scotty’, Cpl Scott was known throughout this small family regiment as a professional and an enthusiast. He was also known for his cheerfulness, his infectious smile and for his laughter. Whether commanding his tank, leading his section in Afghanistan, skydiving or just mucking around, Scotty was at the centre of things, loving life and making it better for everyone else. His was a career full of promise. But first and foremost, Scotty was a family man. He was proud beyond words to be a husband to Nikki and a father to his son, Kai, and his daughter, Brooke. If he loved soldiering, it was nothing to his love for them.
Cpl Scott’s death is a very difficult blow for us to accept. That he died on patrol doing the job he loved, amongst his friends, provides only small comfort. He was the perfect role model for every Tankie and we, the regiment, were proud to know him and are poorer for his loss. Our thoughts at this time are with his family and friends, but most particularly with his lovely wife Nikki and his children.
Major Charlie Burbridge, EGYPT Squadron Leader said:
Corporal ‘Scotty’ Scott died, whilst leading his section of Viking vehicles from the front. He was a true Tankie, a highly experienced combat soldier and was always willing to have a go. He was charismatic, inspirational and hugely popular with everyone in my squadron. He was an instinctive soldier who had a keen and canny tactical brain. This led to me taking a chance and sending him on the Challenger 2 Crew Commander’s Course several years earlier than he otherwise would. He passed the course easily and proved to be a very effective Troop Corporal in just five years after joining the 2nd Tanks.
Scotty was a central figure in my squadron; fun loving, thoughtful, honest and effective. He was part of a very close band of NCOs in EGYPT and was usually at the centre of any mischief. This trait contributed to his operational excellence. In short, he was the perfect soldier both in the field and at home. He was a loving family man whose devotion to his wife and children was obvious. They were the most important part of his life and always placed them before his career. Our prayers are for them; Nicola, Kai and Brooke.
His Troop said:
Corporal Lee Scott met his death leading his Troop from the front as he insisted he always did. He was fully aware of the dangers this entailed, but it was a mark of the man that he wouldn’t ask anyone to do a job that he wouldn’t do himself. Lee did not regard this as a brave act, but would claim that he only wanted to keep the dust out of his eyes.
Lee was a fast rising star in the Regiment, born out by his rapid rise through the ranks. Lee was not just an excellent combat soldier but also found himself time to become a qualified freefall parachutist and coastal day skipper.
To say that Lee was a character would be an understatement. To say that he was a legend would also be an understatement… according to Lee anyway. He was undefeated in the troop Scrabble tournament. Lee was a soldier’s soldier and as such, was always the first to come up with labour saving grand ideas. Such ideas were required in order to ensure Lee’s need for sleep. He was perhaps the only man in Afghanistan who could sleep through the midday sun without even sweating.
In life Lee was unforgettable, in death never forgotten.
Sergeant Paul Culwick said:
He was a great husband and father and was one of the youngest Tank Commanders in the Royal Armoured Corps. Well mate I hope that the green fields that they keep going on about are as green as they say.
Rest In Peace mate and Fear Naught.
Corporal William Hudson said:
Here we are again saying goodbye to another friend. I share fond memories of Lee and the times we had together. Like the time we went to a fancy dress party and Lee being Lee, at last minute put 4 holes in a suit case and just went as that. Or the time we were both in hospital after our daughters Brooke and Jasmine were born. On comparing pushchairs we discovered that we had brought the same one. These are just a couple that come to mind but me and many other members of EGYPT Squadron have very good memories of Lee and the time we had together.
He will be deeply missed by all of the members of the Second Royal Tank Regiment and friends and families alike. The people who have to now pick up the pieces of a broken life are Lee’s family my deepest sympathy goes out to Nikki his son Kai and his daughter Brooke. Nikki has lost a loving husband and a best friend his two kids have lost an outstanding father. Nikki I can’t even start to imagine how you must feel but we are here for you and will always be.
Lee as a comrade and as a friend you will never be forgotten. Rest In Peace mate.
Corporal Trev Hopkins said:
Corporal Lee Scott was a true friend, a real adrenaline junky, and an excellent soldier. He loved to skydive; in fact he just loved life. As a fellow troop corporal within the squadron, Lee showed experience beyond his years, earning the respect of all those that served with him. He tackled the Challenger 2 commander’s course as a lance corporal which is a rare thing in the Royal Armoured Corps.
Lee loved his job and the Regiment, but that love was nothing compared to the commitment and devotion he showed to his beautiful family. His wife, Nicola, and children, Kai and Brooke, have been cruelly robbed of a loving husband and father, and my thoughts are with them all.
Corporal Kevin Williams said:
A loyal, caring, brave and courageous soldier, Corporal Lee Scott, “Scotty”, was dedicated to the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment. His self pride and continuous selfless commitment were clear from the outset. With an extremely promising career ahead of him, Scotty always excelled at every given opportunity. So much so that he was selected early to do his Challenger 2 commanders course, the only Lance Corporal ever to do so in the Royal Armoured Corps.
After passing this course with flying colours, he was hand picked to join Egypt and become 3Tp Corporal. Loved by all, Scotty was a popular member of Egypt . He was always first to help if needed, and always carried an infectious smile taking happiness, morale and laughter everywhere with him. He would always brighten up a room with his contagious laughter and smile, and would never let a thing get him down.
Scotty loved the Regiment but it was always clear his priorities lay with his beloved wife and beautiful children. His family meant everything to him, and it was obvious by the way his eyes lit up and his smile grew as he often spoke of them. He came to work carrying a smile and left work with it bigger.
Scotty will be missed by all. He may be gone, but he will always remain in our hearts. He will never be forgotten.
Lance Corporal Blake Rushmere said:
Lee, aka Scotty, for obvious reasons was a definite key player in our squadron and regiment. He loved his family a lot and also had a great love of football. Although football was a big interest, card games was where Lee could take people’s money with no worries, and never let anyone live that down.
Lee had good fitness and from the word go he knew he would go far in the regiment and he did at great lengths, being a full-screw tank commander after six years in the regiment. Lee always had a smile and a cheeky grin on his face, and kept morale for the troops up at its highest. Lee also loved his wife Nikki and children Kai and Brooke enormously, and our thoughts are with his family and friends. Lee, you will be deeply missed but never forgotten.
Lance Corporal Chris Bryant said:
Corporal Lee Scott wasn’t only a work colleague; he was a family man and friend. Never have I met a prouder man of his family and job. His death is a great loss to all that knew him, and my heart, thoughts and prayers go out to Nicola, Kai and Brooke.
Rest in peace Lee. See you in the green fields.
Lance Corporal Mark Layer said:
Corporal Lee Michael Scott, or as I used to call him, Bob. I have known Bob for 5 years, and it is a privilege to have worked along side such a true and dedicated professional. Bob was destined for great things in the Regiment and the Army; everything that Bob did was to the highest standard. Bob set these high standards as he would want the juniors under him to follow him. He was a true leader and was a true believer of the sayings:
All of one company,
Do as you ought, not as you want,
Think through to the finish.
All the lads looked up to Bob and respected every decision that he made. Out of work he was a loving father to his 4 year old son Kai, his 8 month old daughter Brooke, and his wife Nicola. His laugh was probably the worst I’ve ever experienced. Bob was extremely fit and always encouraged the lads that were struggling as he always lead from the front. He was the perfect role model for every Tankie.
Lee your death has come as a massive shock to us all and I want you to know that we are all thinking about you. We are tremendously proud of what you have achieved in such a short time, mate in my eyes you are a legend.
Lee, I’ve always looked up to you, and you will be missed but never forgotten. As always we will continue to be brothers in arms, to the green fields and beyond.
Corporal ‘Moon’ McGinlay and Corporal ‘Mav’ Maynard said:
Scotty was our best mate, we’d found a bond at basic training and the three of us have been inseparable ever since. The plan had always been to be best men for each other, we had been best men for him, he had done it for one of us, Moon, and was due to make it a hat-trick on his return. Always high on life and always trying to work out some way to get out of work. It was always a competition between us, right from training, to see who could get promoted first and he always seemed to win. He was a flyer and will be sorely missed.
Secretary of State for Defence, Bob Ainsworth, said:
On hearing of the death of another fine soldier from The 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, my thoughts went instantly to his family and friend here in the UK and his fellow soldiers fighting in Afghanistan. I understand that Corporal Scott was a natural soldier and had succeeded in things beyond his years; his part in the progress of Operation Panther’s Claw will be forever remembered.
Operationally excellent and devoted to the Army, Corporal Scott was also devoted to his wife, Nicola, and their two children, who are at the centre of our thoughts and prayers.