Hero of the month… Corporal Lee Scott 1983 – 2009
Once a year in November the whole world comes together to remember our fallen heroes, however at Scotty’s Little Soldiers we know that for families who have lost someone who served in the Armed Forces, Remembrance Day is every day.
Every one of our members have lost a parent who served in the British Armed Forces, and we believe their lives and sacrifice should always be remembered. In our hero of the month posts we celebrate the lives of our members’ fallen heroes every month of the year.
In the first of the series we honour Cpl Lee Scott who was killed in Afghanistan in July 2009.
Cpl Scott was just 26 when he was killed by an IED whilst on tour with the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was in the front armoured vehicle, when his convoy hit a roadside bomb and he was killed instantly. Lee left behind his wife Nikki (28) and two children – Kai who was five and Brooke who was just seven months old at the time.
Nikki remembers that she hadn’t heard from Lee for five days when two official looking cars arrived in her cul-de-sac. She knew instantly that there was something wrong. Nikki recalls being told to hand Brooke to one of the men and being told Lee had been killed. Her first response was that they had the wrong Scott – there were two in Lee’s troop. However, they didn’t, and Lee along with seven other soldiers had been killed on the single bloodiest day of the war in Afghanistan.
When Kai arrived home from school that day excited to show Nikki something he had made for Lee, Nikki’s world fell apart. The family had told Kai where his dad was, and he was counting down the days until his return. Lee was a devoted dad who loved his children so very much. Kai looked up to Lee as his hero and when Nikki told him Lee would not be coming home, he was heartbroken.
Lee was a dedicated soldier, who took his job very seriously and his fellow soldiers described him as the kind of man you would want with you when times get tough. If a job needed doing Lee would make sure it got done. However, there was another side to him. Lee loved to play and be silly. Whilst away on tour he would muck around and tell jokes during down time, but he never forgot his family and would call home as often as he could. Lee’s troop Sargent Paul Howard recalls Lee’s devotion to his family, saying his love for them all was unconditional.
Lee met Nikki when she was working in a pub in King’s Lynn. To begin with Nikki wasn’t interested in a relationship, but as she got to know him, she fell in love. She remembers Lee being a loving, caring and romantic man, saying “when Lee loved someone, he really loved them and would do anything for them.” He was so full of life and loved his career, but deep down was a true family man and would have done anything for them.
Being just seven months old when Lee was killed, Brooke has no memories of her dad. She can’t remember playing with him or talking to him, all she has left is a CD containing a recording of her favourite story “Giraffes can’t Dance.” Lee made this for her before leaving for Afghanistan. This CD means the world to Brooke and allows her to hear the voice of a dad she will never know. Lee’s small gesture to ensure his baby remembered his voice while he was away on tour, has left Brooke with a small piece of her dad to keep forever.
Following his death, Lee received a military funeral and repatriation in Royal Wootton Bassett where thousands of people lined the streets in silence to say goodbye and show their respect. Nikki recalls being overwhelmed by the amount of people who had put their lives on hold to be there and thinking Lee would love seeing all those people there for him. She asked Kai if he knew why so many people were there and told him; “because your daddy is a hero.”
Nikki saw the impact on her children and one year after Lee’s death, Nikki set up Scotty’s Little Soldiers in his name, with the aim of helping other families who had lost their hero.
Over the last ten years, both Kai and Brooke, have been at the heart of the charity set up in their dad’s honour and have received an enormous amount of support when they’ve needed it the most. Brooke can’t remember not being a Scotty’s member and both children love feeling part of a special community where all the other children know what it’s like to grow up with a parent missing. It means so much to Kai and Brooke to get away from it all and go on Scotty breaks, to know health and wellbeing support is always available to them, to receive presents from their “Scotty family” at important times of year and attend special events like the amazing annual Christmas party. However, they both feel the most important thing is the friendships they’ve formed through Scotty’s.
Last year, as part of Scotty’s #Reconnect campaign, Brooke was provided with the opportunity to meet up with her dad’s former army sergeant, which helped her to feel reconnected with both her dad and the military community. This was really special for Brooke and she says Scotty’s helps her when she’s missing her dad and makes her smile.
If you would like to leave a tribute message for Lee and his family, or make a donation to Scotty’s, you can find his personal tribute page here: https://lee-scott.muchloved.com/