It is with regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm today that Royal Marine Corporal Seth Stephens was killed in southern Afghanistan on 1 July 2010.
Corporal Seth Stephens was a truly popular man. He was blessed with the innate ability to brighten the darkest room; he also possessed a disarming sense of humour. Measured and thoughtful, his strength came from a depth of experience and knowledge that he was keen to share with others.
Armed with a positive ‘can do’ approach to every task, he was a trusted friend and colleague. A team member he most certainly was, but it was as an individual that his true colours were best displayed. Never one to follow the well-trodden path, he was confident in his own abilities and was always looking for new challenges.
Above all else Corporal Stephens was a doting husband and father. His absolute dedication and unfailing love for his family was abundantly clear for everybody to see. He could always be relied upon to be there for his family and friends, whose needs he always placed before his own.
Their loss is immeasurable and our condolences go to them. If there is some solace to be gained, it lies in knowing that Corporal Stephens died doing the job he genuinely loved, alongside comrades that had the utmost admiration for him.
At this tragic time our thoughts are with his family. We all hope that his family can draw strength, as we do, from the fond and lasting memories we all have of Corporal Stephens; a father, husband, soldier and friend.
Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, said:
It is clear that Corporal Seth Stephens was a consummate professional whose positive energy and sense of fun made him a popular and highly respected Marine. From tributes I have read Corporal Stephens was a loving family man who always put others before himself, leading to the ultimate sacrifice for his country. I extend my deepest sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues.
At the request of Corporal Stephens’ family no further information was released regarding his death in July, but now, again at their request, we have published the above tribute and image.
Award of Gallantry Decoration*
Cpl Stephens’ death resulted from enemy small arms fire, while he was protecting and inspiring his British and Afghan comrades. He made a conscious decision to move to provide more effective covering fire.
Moving along what was a very exposed position while under accurate fire, increased the risk to him significantly. This act of selfless bravery, which almost certainly saved the lives of his comrades, was recognised by the posthumous award of the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.
*This section was added to this page on 24 May 2011 at the request of Cpl Stephens’ widow.