It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Serjeant Phillip Scott of 3rd Battalion The Rifles (3 RIFLES) was killed in Afghanistan yesterday, Thursday 5 November 2009.
Serjeant* Phillip Scott died following an improvised explosive device explosion in northern Helmand province.
His platoon was attached to B Company during a deliberate clearance operation in the town of Sangin aimed at increasing security for local Afghans and preparing the ground for further operations.
Serjeant Phillip Scott
Serjeant Phillip Scott, aged 30, was born in Malton, North Yorkshire, on 9 May 1979. He joined the Army in 2001, completing initial training at the Army Training Regiment Winchester and the Infantry Training Centre Catterick, before passing out to join C Company, 2nd Battalion The Light Infantry, in January 2002.
Just over a year later he was promoted to Lance Corporal and deployed to Iraq as Second-in-Command of a Rifle Section. In 2004 Serjeant Scott passed the Section Commanders’ Battle Course in Brecon at the same time as his brother Robin.
Promoted to Corporal shortly afterwards, he was posted to 3 RIFLES’ prestigious Recce Platoon. He deployed on further operational tours in Northern Ireland and Iraq, as well as passing the Recce Commanders’ Cadre before being sent back to ITC Catterick as an instructor to train recruits.
He returned to 3 RIFLES in Edinburgh earlier this year, returning to C Company as a Section Commander. He was promoted to Serjeant in July and moved back to Recce Platoon as a Section Commander. It was in this role that he deployed in September on Operation HERRICK 11 alongside his brother, a Platoon Serjeant in A Company.
Serjeant Scott, known as ‘Scotty’ amongst his colleagues, was a natural soldier; fit, robust and with an in-built feel for the countryside. Having grown up as a gamekeeper’s son in Yorkshire, he was perfect for the role of reconnaissance.
A career soldier, he aspired to pass Special Forces selection after the tour. Having excelled at everything in his career this would have been entirely within his abilities. Well-liked and respected amongst those he worked with and for, he showed almost infinite potential and was certainly on a path of rapid promotion and excellence.
Serjeant Scott leaves behind his wife, Ellen, and two children, Ellie, aged three, and Michael, aged one. They lived together as a family in Edinburgh.
Serjeant Scott’s wife Ellen paid the following tribute:
My husband was a very brave man, loved by all his family and a very dear husband and father.
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, Commanding Officer, 3 RIFLES Battle Group, said:
Serjeant Scott was the most professional of soldiers, the toughest of men and the gentlest of friends. Naturally charming and disarmingly polite, he was considerate and compassionate to his core. Uncompromisingly assiduous at work, he was an inspiration to all and a mentor to those he led in training and on the field of battle.
Generous and unassuming, Serjeant Scott brought calm, happiness and confidence to all around him. This Battle Group has lost one of its best junior commanders; The Rifles has lost one of its future stars. He died doing the job he loved and we are tremendously proud of his dedication and contribution.
We shall miss him, both as part of our team for the current fight and for the long term as a beloved family member. Our thoughts and prayers are firmly with his wife and young children, his family and his friends.
Major Mark Melhorn, Officer Commanding Fire Support Company, 3 RIFLES, said:
Serjeant Phillip ‘Scotty’ Scott was a man at the very top of his game and clearly destined for greatness. Supremely fit, with an imposing physical presence and an encyclopaedic knowledge of the countryside, he was justifiably confident in his ability to soldier better than anyone.
He was an awe-inspiring Senior Non-Commissioned Officer [NCO] who clearly loved his job and the men under his command, and they loved him back for his dedication to them. His face would really light up when he talked about his family.
In one twelve-hour journey from Edinburgh to Devon he talked me through the route card he had planned to perfection for his motor-homing holiday. My jokes about motor homes being for old men were like water off a duck’s back and the time flew as he talked passionately about all the fun he was going to have with his wife and children.
The Battle Group has lost one of its stars and his death leaves a huge hole in our hearts. However, our pain is insignificant compared to that of Ellen, Ellie and Michael and our thoughts go out to them at this tragic time.
Major James Richardson, Officer Commanding B Company, 3 RIFLES, said:
I had the privilege of having Serjeant Scott under command for only a relatively brief period of time, but it was long enough to find out that he was both a thoroughly decent man, and a highly professional soldier.
As a Section Commander in the Recce Platoon his soldiering abilities were all too evident. The reaction of the platoon speaks volumes for the man, they have lost an exceptional commander and a great friend. Big in stature but gentle in manner - he was a classic case of walking quietly but carrying a big stick.
But while we may feel aggrieved at his loss, it is as nothing compared with the sense of loss that his wife, Ellen, and their two, all too small, children (Ellie and Michael) will be feeling. Our thoughts are with them and the rest of his family, especially his brother, also deployed in Afghanistan.
Major Mike Lynch, Officer Commanding C Company, 3 RIFLES, said:
Serjeant Phil Scott joined C Company in January this year. In the short time he spent with us he made a big impact which is a true testament to his strength of character and personality.
A strong and robust soldier he always led from the front and we were sorry to lose him on promotion to Recce Serjeant, a promotion he truly deserved. He was utterly professional and a real team player who managed to find time to take a real interest in his men.
He has many close friends within the company and his loss will be felt by us all. At a truly difficult time for his family, our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children.
Warrant Officer Class Two Jason Longmate, Company Serjeant Major, Fire Support Company, 3 RIFLES, said:
Scotty arrived in Fire Support Company in May. He made an instant impact in the Recce Platoon and the company. He was well respected by all his peers and men.
His professional attitude infected everybody around him; Scotty was the original universal soldier, destined to go on to bigger and better things. The lads will miss his gloomy outlook on life.
It was a constant talking point for the lads and Scotty was always ripped about it. I got to know Scotty professionally and found that his love in life was his wife and kids. My thoughts go out to his family at this sorry time.
Colour Serjeant Paul Lucke, Second-in-Command, Recce Platoon, said:
Scotty was a well respected Senior NCO by both his peers and other ranks across the battalion. He was a soldier’s soldier and his place within the Recce Platoon will never be forgotten. He will be sorely missed.
He had a great character and showed professionalism at all times. If it wasn’t in the pamphlet then it wasn’t meant to happen. He had two loves in his life: his mattress (he had become commonly known as the man-tress) and most importantly his wife and children.
Scotty was devoted to all he turned his hand to, but nothing could compare to his devotion to his wife and children. He was forever caught slipping them into any conversation.
A gap has appeared in the platoon that can never be filled. We have lost a good friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Ellen, his two children Ellie and Michael, and his family.
Warrant Officer Class Two Paul Kelly, Company Serjeant Major, B Company, 3 RIFLES, said:
I’ve known Scotty since he joined the battalion, his standards and professionalism are unquestionable, and have improved and developed throughout his career.
For a big, strong man he had a calm and easy-going personality; he had an unforgettable sense of humour and laugh that would encourage anyone to join in.
Scotty was not only a Rifleman’s Rifleman but he was a doting husband and father. At this difficult time our thoughts are with his family. Rest in Peace mate.
Serjeant Lee Slater, Section Commander, Recce Platoon, said:
Scotty, you were a top bloke in your job and civilian life, you were everything a Recce soldier should be.
You will be sorely missed and your place in Recce Platoon will never be forgotten. You were strong as an ox always.
From training recruits at the Infantry Training Centre to the battlefields of Afghanistan you were clearly on top of your game. Rest friend, you will not be forgotten.
Corporal Richard Green, Section Commander, Recce Platoon, said:
Scotty was a one-of-a-kind soldier. His diligence and work ethic made him the ultimate professional. I hadn’t known Scotty all that long, but always admired his great outlook on everything, Army-related or not.
He emphasised everything a Recce soldier should be and everyone looked up to him. Rest well fellow comrade, you will be missed.
Lance Corporal David Kirkness, Section Second-in-Command, Recce Platoon, said:
Myself and others who knew Scotty are deeply saddened. I knew Scotty very well and I know that his place in the platoon and in our hearts will never be replaced.
I can say Scotty was the most professional soldier I’ve ever known and always gave 100 per cent. It still hasn’t hit home that he’s gone but I’ll never forget him. For your tomorrow he gave his today.
Lance Corporal Marcel Cook, Recce Platoon Signals Detachment Commander, said:
Scotty was a close mate, there was no job too small for him and no matter what the task was he always put in 100 per cent into everything he did.
He’d never have a bad word said about his blokes or the platoon; he was green through and through and will be sorely missed not only in the platoon but within the battalion.
Lance Corporal Cove, Section Second-in-Command, Recce Platoon, said:
Scotty was a very professional soldier and loved his job very much. Things will not be the same without him. Our thoughts are now with his family and friends in the UK. We miss you mate.
Rifleman Kurtis Parkes, Recce Platoon, said:
Scotty was the best Section Commander any bloke could ask for. He did his uppermost to look out for his blokes in his section, never mind the platoon. He was a very strong person and one of the key figures in the platoon. He will be missed by everyone. Our prayers go out to his wife, kids, family and friends.
Secretary of State for Defence, Bob Ainsworth, said:
I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Serjeant Phillip Scott, a soldier who had a glowing Army career behind him and an equally bright future ahead, until his life was cruelly cut short. My thoughts and sympathies are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.
- The spelling of ‘Sergeant’ with a ‘j’ is unique to The Rifles.