Operations in Afghanistan

Marine Scott Gregory Taylor killed in Afghanistan

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Marine Scott Gregory Taylor, from Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday 30 May 2010.

Ministry of Defence crest
Marine Scott Taylor (All rights reserved.)

Marine Scott Taylor (All rights reserved.)

Marine Taylor was killed as a result of an explosion which occurred when he and Alpha Company were conducting a foot patrol to help reassure the local population and to increase security within the area around Sangin.

Marine Scott Taylor

Marine Scott Taylor joined the Royal Marines on 24 September 2007, aged 18. Prior to enlisting he completed his GCSEs and A-levels at Buxton Community School in his hometown of Buxton, Derbyshire. Following in the footsteps of his older brother Liam, Marine Taylor passed for duty as a Royal Marines Commando on 26 September 2008.

Joining Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, he took part in numerous exercises, most notably TAURUS 09, the largest Royal Naval deployment in over 10 years, participating in ceremonial duties in Gibraltar and multinational exercises in Cyprus and Turkey. The exercise culminated in the Far East where he completed an arduous jungle warfare training package in Brunei.

Upon return from summer leave in September 2009, his attention was focused on Mission Specific Training for 40 Commando’s deployment to Afghanistan on Op HERRICK 12. In April 2010 he deployed to Sangin, Afghanistan, with Alpha Company, based out of Patrol Base Jamil.

Marine Taylor’s family have made the following statement:

Scotty was the perfect son, brother, grandson, nephew and friend who would do anything for anybody no matter who they were, always caring and respectful. He loved his family and lit up the room with his smile. He had a wicked sense of humour and was loyal, caring and brave, never showing pain. He will leave a void in everyone’s lives who knew him that can never be filled.

Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, Commanding Officer, 40 Commando Group, Combined Force Sangin, said:

Marine Scott Taylor was everything I needed in a Bootneck; proud but not arrogant, loyal but still independent, courageous but not foolhardy, he was an outstanding Marine. Brave, strong, bright and physically very fit, he was an utterly selfless man who was often unassuming, preferring instead to let his actions speak for him - and they spoke with power and tumult.

He was a giant in the gymnasium, a consummate professional in the field and a true mate to his friends. He died on patrol in southern Sangin as point man, leading the men who he had grown to love like brothers.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his mother and father, his brother Marine Liam Taylor and all his friends and family. He will be sadly missed by all in 40 Commando. Marine Scotty Taylor was, and will always be, a Royal Marine Commando.

Major Sean Brady, Officer Commanding Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Marine Scott Taylor or ‘Scotty’ to his mates was an outstanding Marine who demonstrated on a daily basis both immense courage and determination. Due to his maturity and diligent nature he had been selected to be the lead man for his section, with the responsibility for clearing a safe path for the remainder of the Marines in the patrol.

This task is not only physically demanding but mentally exhausting; in this he excelled and I have no doubt that he saved the lives of his comrades on countless occasions. Although he had only been in the Royal Marines for a short period he had already made a lasting impact on everyone he had met.

On first impressions he came across as quiet and unassuming, however this hid the fact that he was extremely driven; whether it was in the gym, where he outshone most people in the company, or in the jungle where he demonstrated superior soldiering skills. When asked what his ambition in the Royal Marines was, he replied ‘to become a sniper and then in time a Regimental Sergeant Major’.

For many this would be nothing more than a pipe dream but for Scotty it was not difficult to envisage him achieving these goals. I can say without any hesitation that he was a natural leader and that a glittering career has been cut short. Nevertheless, he died doing what he wanted to do, leading from the front and setting an example that the rest of us must now try to emulate.

It is difficult to quantify the degree of loss that will be felt by Alpha Company; our pain is insignificant when compared to that of his parents, Stephen and Jayne, as well as his brother Liam who is also a serving Royal Marine. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this most distressing of times.

Sergeant Danny Pea, 2 Troop Sergeant and Commander of Patrol Base Jamil, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

How or what do you feel when you lose one of your own men out here? Well now I know, Scotty, or ‘The Back’ as the lads knew him, was a professional, determined and dedicated soldier. Scotty was a very strong individual, a Marine that the lads looked up to. He was a mature and hardworking man who when asked to do something would do it to the best of his ability and without question.

If I could have had 30 guys like Scotty in the troop then I would have been a very happy man. Scotty was what we describe in the Corps as the ‘Grey Man’, the job was always done without hesitation and he would not normally stand out from the crowd, but this was the way he liked it, and I would not have wanted it any other way.

My thoughts go out to his family and friends and anyone else who knew Scotty Taylor. He was a man, soldier and a friend that I will never forget. Rest in peace mate and look out for us all while we are out here.

Marine Pete Carver, 2 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Scotty, what a lad! You could always tell what he was thinking, and it was usually about how good his pecs looked. I never heard him complain without him laughing. He was always talking about going for a few beers in Bali or about how great Buxton water was.

I always looked up to Scotty because of his positive attitude towards everything; when he set his mind on something he just got on with it. Scotty was a true friend and one that no-one can replace; I even thought of him as a brother, looking after him on nights out. My heart goes out to his friends and family. Scotty will be truly missed but never forgotten.

Marine ‘Hodgey’ Hodgson, 2 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

I had known Scotty for about eight months and would just like to say what a hoofing bloke he was. Scotty had an awesome sense of humour and was well liked by all the lads. He was always able to crack funnies when times were hard; you couldn’t ask for a better oppo. Scotty was such a professional Bootneck, and he always liked to look his best no matter where he was.

If he wasn’t in the gym he was busy tanning and if he wasn’t doing that he was drinking hot wets. Speaking of drinking, Scotty would always be out on a Thursday night in Taunton with the lads. He always talked about his brother and how they would go out drinking. He looked up to his brother and was always spinning dits about him.

My thoughts go out to his family at this time and hope that they stay strong like he would have done. I would like to finish by saying that everyone is going to miss you mate; you were a hoofing bloke through and through.

Marine ‘Ginge’ Milburn, 2 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Scotty was an awesome character who was well liked by the lads. He loved cracking phys as well as conducting a good tanning session. It’s a massive blow knowing such a hoofing Bootneck like Scotty Taylor has been taken from us; he was an awesome Marine.

He always did what he had to do no questions asked, and the Commando ethos summed up Scotty to a T. Mate, you’ll be up there now smashing the phys as you always loved to do, especially concentrating on your back and abs. You will be painfully missed by all mate, I’ll be thinking of you buddy, see you in another life. Cheers, Ginge.

Marine Will Pickett, 2 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Scott was an awesome soldier and an even better person. He and I became quite close on tour and we would regularly do gym sessions together where he would always outclass me. Big Scotty T, or Scott ‘The Back’ as he was called due to his huge back and shoulders, testament to his dedication in the gym, would always smash the troop at pull-ups.

Scotty was a very calm and laid back person who made hard things look easy; because of this he was well liked throughout the troop and the company. Scott would always have one or two large cups of tea and coffee for breakfast in his ‘I love tea’ mug, which always made me laugh.

He was a professional through and through; I know his brother is a Marine and if he is anything like Scotty he should be proud. I’m sorry that I am not that good at writing as he deserves more than I can say and I hate to write about Scotty in the past tense. I hope you take some comfort in reading this letter, my deepest sympathies.

Marine Pat Wall, 2 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Scotty ‘The Back’ Taylor, what can I say? I knew you for eight months which was more than enough to learn what measure of a man you were. You were truly liked and respected by everyone, a sound example of a strong Marine, especially to me. You were a tanned, phys ninja, wet drinking machine.

Always in good spirits, you never had any drips. Your banter was real morale for me out here, and you were my ‘go to man’. You were the biggest family man, always spinning dits about drinking with your brother, and my thoughts and prayers go out to your family. It was a pleasure and an honour to have known and served with you. You will never be forgotten.

Marine Tino Hotine, 2 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Scotty ‘The Back’ due to the fact that your back was massive! This was but one of your many qualities, the others being the rest of your body: abs like a cheese grater and a chest that Lucy Pinder would be proud of. As well as this, you were professional through and through and although I didn’t know you for long, I really enjoyed the time we spent together.

You never complained about a thing, every time something needed doing you were the first volunteer no matter how bad things got. You carried out your job with the utmost pride and you were proud to be a Bootneck. It is terrible that you are no longer with us mate and I hate to write in the past tense, but our memories of you will be shared between us for as long as I live.

I’ll take on board the tanning tips you gave me and try my hardest to get a body like yours because you were one hell of an essence bloke and by god did you know it. Our thoughts are with your family buddy but if they are as strong as you were I am sure they will get through these hard times. We’ll be sure to have a drink with them back at Norton Manor, and the obvious hoofing dits about you will be spun. Until then buddy keep us safe down here, I know you will.

Marine ‘Tommo’ Thompson, 2 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

What can be said to honour Scotty? There is no shortage of stories that explain how he was respected and liked both as a valuable friend and a professional colleague. In addition, his dedication, his loyalty, his cheerfulness and his willingness to always do the thankless tasks if it meant that his friends wouldn’t get seen off by having to do them.

However, out of all his attributes the one I think Scotty would smile and be proudest of all to be remembered for would be his lats; he had the body of an Adonis and he took a quiet and deserved sense of pride in this. You always liked a good drip Scotty and that was part of who you were.

We would spend hours together on sangar duty or in my room at Norton Manor chatting about random stuff which would always turn into a drip session, until we just started laughing and joking about it all until we went to scran and then had one more thing to drip about.

However, whatever your drips were about they never affected your complete dedication and loyalty to your friends, work and to your family who you were extremely proud of. You would often mention how you couldn’t wait to see them again, especially your brother who is also in the Corps. I have had the pleasure to work with both of you now and my sympathies go out to him and to the rest of your family.

I know it is a cliche to say it but Scotty really was the personification of a Royal Marine Commando. His selflessness, dedication, determination, courage, integrity and sense of duty were just some of the qualities that make Scotty a perfect example of what a Bootneck should be to everyone from the youngest Marine to the most grizzled SNCO [Senior Non-Commissioned Officer].

However, out of all his qualities I think everyone will agree that his incredible capacity for modesty was the first thing anyone noticed. He would constantly set himself goals and targets and he would always be striving to improve himself, not just in work but in every aspect of his life.

Lastly I just wish to say that you will be missed deeply by everyone, especially your friends and family. I was proud to be able to call you not only a colleague but a good friend, and as such I could keep going on for ages but as to be expected there is a long list of people wishing to pay their respects so I shouldn’t monopolise this time we have.

I will see you again one day Scotty, so make sure you have the wets on when I get there. All the best Scotty, I will miss you, as will all the lads from 40 Commando. Take care and stay massive.

Marine Thomas French, 2 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

Although I only knew Scotty for a couple of months I knew him well and counted him not only as a colleague but as a good friend as well. I was his Vallon partner which made us bicker like a couple of kids; but we would always forget what we were arguing about, sit and laugh at how childish we had been over a wet together.

That’s the type of bloke he was, a proper professional who would always go out of his way to help you out and for that I am very proud to have served alongside him. I know that if I become even half the man Scotty was then I can walk tall.

You are gone but never forgotten; your memory lives on forever. It was an honour to work alongside you, and I will try my best to uphold the standards you set. You were a great Marine and an even greater man.

Marine John Cadwallader, 2 Troop, Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said:

I first met Scott Taylor at Alpha Company lines in 40 Commando. We both talked about his hometown of Buxton, we got on from then. He was a good friend to me and he showed me the ropes when I first rocked up as the new guy.

Scott was a strong, fit and clever young man. While at work he was always someone to look up to. I will miss you loads Scott, rest in peace mate.

Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, said:

Marine Scott Gregory Taylor gave his life fulfilling his duty in an area vital to protecting our national security. His colleagues praise his soldiering skills, his unfaltering commitment and his quiet confidence. My thoughts are with those close to him, his family, friends and fellow Marines.

Published 1 June 2010