Wednesday, February 18, 2009
It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Lance Corporal Stephen Kingscott of 1st Battalion The Rifles in Afghanistan on 16 February 2009.
Lance Corporal Kingscott died during the assault of an enemy position during a deliberate operation against insurgents in the Nawa district of Helmand province.
Lance Corporal Stephen 'Schnoz' Kingscott of 1st Battalion The Rifles
Stephen Michael Kingscott was born on 10 July 1986 at the Freedom Fields Hospital in his hometown of Plymouth.
Stephen joined the British Army after gaining seven GCSEs from the John Kitto Community College; he trained at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, and the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, before he joined his regiment, 1st Battalion The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, in Ballykinler, Northern Ireland.
In summer 2006 Lance Corporal Kingscott served in Iraq with 1st Battalion The Devon and Dorset Light Infantry before they were amalgamated into 1st Battalion The Rifles, in which he served in Belize, the Falkland Islands and Afghanistan.
During pre-deployment training for Operation Herrick 9, he was selected for special language training, passing an intensive ten-week Dari course.
In Afghanistan he was employed in the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) Battle Group, working in one of the small, tight-knit teams that train and fight alongside the Afghan National Army.
Lance Corporal Kingscott was a physically fit individual who enjoyed many sports and represented the battalion in the 1st XI football and cricket teams. When in Afghanistan he could also be found teaching and playing volleyball with the Afghan National Army in the Patrol Base.
Lance Corporal Kingscott was an intelligent, competent, friendly and popular Rifleman who was dedicated to his work, selflessly placing himself in harm's way before his comrades. He was larger than life and would always be the first to raise the morale of his team when the going was tough in southern Helmand.
Once, out patrolling in the Green Zone, his balance failed him whilst tiptoeing over a precarious log bridge, sending him tumbling into one of the many irrigation ditches. Right behind him, his Company Commander, Major Andy Watkins, asked after his well-being.
As a team mate gave him a helping hand out of the water, his reply was simply "I wanted to try out my backstroke, it's getting a little rusty", and with a wry smile continued on with the patrol; testimony to his irrepressible sense of humour and cheerfulness in adversity.
His commitment to those around him was a constant theme noted by his fellow Riflemen, who always found themselves behind Lance Corporal Kingscott when advancing on the enemy.