Page last updated at 07:26 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Dead UK soldier is named by MoD

Lance Corporal Stephen Kingscott
L/Cpl Kingscott - known as "Schnoz" - also served in Belize and the Falklands

A British army soldier killed in Afghanistan on Monday has been named as Lance Corporal Stephen Kingscott.

The 22-year-old from Plymouth, Devon, died of wounds received while on a foot patrol south of Lashkar Gah in the country's Helmand province.

From 1st Battalion The Rifles, he was on a joint operation by the Army and the Afghan National Army to "dominate ground" in the region, the MoD said.

L/Cpl Kingscott's next of kin have been informed of his death.

'Model Rifleman'

His parents, Wendy and Michael, sister Laura and fiancee Gemma said: "Stephen is our loving son, brother, grandson and fiance, who died for his country.

"He will always be our hero and always in our thoughts."

Lt Col Joe Cavanagh, Commanding Officer of 1 Rifles, said L/Cpl Kingscott was a "model Rifleman" who died despite "the very best efforts" of his colleagues.

He added: "The depth of Steve's previous experience and the speed with which he picked up new skills made him a model Rifleman, no more so than on operations.

Lance Corporal Stephen Kingscott was by all accounts a man of great character and ability, fearless in battle
Defence Secretary John Hutton
"We are so sorry for Steve's parents and family, his beloved girlfriend, and his friends; they will miss him terribly, as we will.

"We are all very proud to have served alongside him."

Defence Secretary John Hutton also paid tribute to the dead soldier.

He said: "Lance Corporal Stephen Kingscott was by all accounts a man of great character and ability, fearless in battle and a model Rifleman.

"His last action was typical, in the thick of the fight and beside his comrades and the Afghan soldiers whose country he was helping to rebuild.

'Deepest respect'

"I can add nothing to the tribute from his parents, for whom he was a hero who died for his country, and they have my deepest respect and sympathy."

L/Cpl Kingscott enlisted after school and trained at Harrogate and Catterick in North Yorkshire before joining 1st Battalion, The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment.

He served in Iraq with the battalion before it was amalgamated into 1st Battalion, The Rifles.

L/Cpl Kingscott - known as "Schnoz" - then went on to serve in Belize, the Falkland Islands as well as Afghanistan.

His death brings the number of UK casualties to 145 since 2001.

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