Friday, 22 September 2017
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.

     |      View our Twitter page at     |     


Serjeant Phillip Scott
3rd Battalion The Rifles

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, 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 the Battalion's 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 3rd Battalion The Rifles (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 game-keeper'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.

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 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 (WO2) Jason Longmate, Company Serjeant Major (CSM) 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 (WO2) 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 easygoing 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."

Add comment

Security code

Latest from

  • ariananews- U.S. Doubles Airstrikes, Following New Strategy
    The U.S. forces with coordination of Afghan military have doubled its airstrikes in Afghanistan, following Washington’s new strategy for the war-torn country, Presidential Palace (ARG) said Wednesday. According to ARG, drone and warplane raids were being “effective” in suppressing the insurgents across the country.
  • KP- US airstrike inflict casualties to foreign ISIS militants in East of Afghanistan
    At least four militants four militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed in an airstrike in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. The provincial government media office in a statement said the airstrike was carried in the past twenty four hours in Haska Mina district.
  • NPR- NPR News Interviews Afghan President Ashraf Ghani
    In an interview airing on Thursday's Morning Edition, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly spoke with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani about the details of the Afghanistan strategy outlined by President Trump in his speech last month. President Ghani described it as a "very well thought-out plan with a four year objective... of really bringing 80 percent of the territory of the country under control." Ghani broke down the strategy into three parts: double the size of Afghan commando forces, improve and increase the Afghan military's air power and re-vamp military leadership as part of broader overhaul of Afghanistan's security forces.
  • warsawvoice- More Polish soldiers in Afghanistan
    The Polish government hopes to expand its 200-troop military presence in Afghanistan to show solidarity with the US as it increases its own contingent, a topic which defense minister Antoni Macierewicz is about to take up with US Secretary of Defence James Mattis.
  • ToloNews- Gunmen Kidnap Mirza Olang Village's ALP Commander
    Armed anti-government men on Tuesday afternoon kidnapped the commander of the Afghan Local Police for Mirza Olang village from Sar-e-Pul city, the provincial council confirmed. The kidnapped commander, Habibullah, was stationed in Mirza Olang village in Sayyad district.
  • KP- Suicide attack in Pakistan leaves 23 dead, wounded
    At least twenty people were killed or wounded in a suicide attack in Balochistan province of the country. The incident took place in the vicinity of Chaman located close to Afghanistan late on Monday. According to the local officials, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives near the vehicle of the security forces.
  • Reuters- US Military surgeons in Afghanistan treat civilian injuries
    At U.S. military facilities in Afghanistan, roughly half of the surgeries done for local civilians during more than a decade of war have been for non-combat injuries and health problems, a recent study suggests. From January 2002 through March 2013, a total of 5,786 local civilians underwent 9,428 surgical procedures at U.S. military treatment centers in Afghanistan, accounting for 37,121 inpatient hospital days, researchers report in JAMA Surgery.
  • militarytimes- Afghanistan takes delivery of first Black Hawks
    The U.S. delivered the first two of a planned 159 U.S. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to Afghanistan on Monday, according to Capt. William Salvin, a spokesperson for Operation Resolute Support. The helicopters were delivered to Kandahar airfield by U.S. Air Force C-17 loadmasters assigned to Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina.
  • BNA- Roadside Mine Blast Leaves 6 Civilians Dead
    Six civilians lost their lives in explosion of a roadside mine in Daman District, Kandahar province yesterday. Zeya Dorani spokesman of Kandahar security directorate told BNA, six civilians martyred while their vehicle hit a roadside mine in Abdul Wahid village, Daman District of the province.
  • Janes- IED attack kills four civilians in Afghanistan's Khost
    FOUR civilians were killed and 13 others were wounded in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack by unidentified militants in the basement of Hammam Market in Afghanistan's Khost province on 17 September, Afghan Islamic Press reported. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

British military casualties - Editorial policy

In the service of our country.

Eulogies for all personnel killed on UK operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere are posted as soon as they have been released by the UK Ministry of Defence. Each eulogy we publish for men down in operations brings a lump to the throat. We are losing the best of the best. Politicians must ensure that, when the newspaper cuttings have faded, their sacrifice has had some meaning, has helped bring about a good result. Anything else would be a waste for which they will be eternally condemned.

There is invariably at least a 24 hour gap between the official release of news of an event and the naming of the dead. This is to allow families to be informed and proper eulogoies to be produced. Occasionally families request no euologies or comment. We abide by guidance we receive on such sensitive matters. We regret that information on those who sacrifice almost as much through grave injury is seldom released by the MoD for operational reasons, and so we are unable to pay tribute.


We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Defence Viewpoints website. However, if you would like to, you can modify your browser so that it notifies you when cookies are sent to it or you can refuse cookies altogether. You can also delete cookies that have already been set. You may wish to visit which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers. Please note that you will lose some features and functionality on this website if you choose to disable cookies. For example, you may not be able to link into our Twitter feed, which gives up to the minute perspectives on defence and security matters.