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Hero of the Month: Cpl Lee Scott (1983 - 2009)


Cpl Lee Scott was a beloved father, cheeky husband and esteemed soldier in the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment.

Lee joined the Army just after his 19th birthday and served for seven years, completing operational tours of Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

On the 10th of July 2009, he was killed in action in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was 26 years old. His son, Kai, was five. His daughter, Brooke, just seven months.

Cpl Lee Scott

“Lee was the most happy-go-lucky person and always had a cheeky grin on his face,” says his wife, Nikki. “He was a bit of a joker, and would take great joy in winding people up and pulling a prank on them, but he also had a much softer side. He had the kindest heart and would do anything to help someone if they needed it. The thing I loved most about him though was how he seemed to carry happiness and positivity wherever he went. He was so enthusiastic about everything. Everything was, “yeah, that will be okay” and “yeah, we can do that.’ He also had this incredibly infectious laugh. If Lee was in the room, everyone would know!” 

Lee was known by everyone for his charming, mischievous personality, but there was also a more serious side to him that not many people got to see.

Lee having fun with his son, Kai

“He had this amazing talent for instantly knowing when I was worried or upset about something and would just simply give me a hug. Whatever was wrong, I always knew he would make it all okay. He was also a brilliant dad and loved finding new ways to make the kids laugh. Even on his last day before he left for Afghanistan, he went to Toys R’ Us and bought Kai a massive play McDonalds’s kitchen set as a goodbye gift because he just loved to see Kai happy. He was an incredible guy who was taken far too soon.” 

Lee’s daughter, 15-year-old Brooke, says: “I don't remember anything about my dad as I was only a baby when he died, but what an amazing man I've been told he was! He never failed to make people laugh and brightened every room he entered. He was like a ball of happiness with a permanent cheeky grin. But when work needed to be done, he always made sure to do it and do it well.” 

A family photo taken shortly before Lee's death

Lee and Nikki were friends for years before becoming a couple, even working together at the same pub in King’s Lynn. When Lee joined the Army in 2002, he was based in Germany, so the two would write to each other.  

“I fell in love with Lee through his letters – because he was so kind and caring in them, I saw a different side to him. Eventually we got together, and I realised that we were soulmates. Just completely got each other. Lee was always so extremely proud to be in the Army and serve his country. He totally loved his job and wanted nothing more than to make a difference. He oozed confidence and would sometimes joke about what a ‘great’ soldier he was. I would just think ‘yeah, yeah, Lee,’ but since his death, I’ve heard so many courageous stories about him I’ve realised that, actually, he wasn’t a great soldier – he was an outstanding one.” 

Lee inside a tank in Afghanistan

He may no longer be with them, but Nikki and her family have lots of ways they like to remember Lee, and as the children grow older, those ways are evolving with them. 

“Over the years I think I’ve put pressure on myself to do certain things on key dates, like anniversaries and birthdays,” says Nikki, “but now the three of us will just chat and decide together what we want to do. It’s interesting how over the years, the ways in which they want to remember their dad have changed so much. When they were young, it was all about going out and being very active and keeping busy, but now it tends to be much more sentimental. That has all come from them deciding what they want to do. Giving them a choice is so important.”

Lee and his family at Disney Land

“I miss my dad all the time and look at lots of pictures of him,” adds 20-year-old Kai. “He was very brave.” 

Lee’s daughter, Brooke, says: “I used to make him cards on days like Father’s Day, but now I just like to just sit and spend time thinking. I think about the amazing life he had, the memories he made, the impact he had on others. I also like to look through old pictures of him and just reflect.  I’ve always love talking about him, too, and me and my nan will visit his grave together from time to time and we'll just sit and talk as if he was right there with us. I own a locket with his picture in, which I wear as a necklace so that he’s always with me.” 

Lee's last Christmas

Once thing that both Kai and Brooke have struggled with over the years is having none, or very limited, memories of their dad.

“Although Kai was only 5 years old, he does have a few memories of his own which are very special,” explains Nikki. “Brooke, however, was only a baby, so doesn’t have any memories of her time with her daddy. I think it’s so important for us as a family to talk about Lee as it helps them to build a picture of the type of person he was.”

Brooke says: “People often say I remind them of him, which I find really comforting. Even though I don’t remember him myself, it’s nice to know that when I take a step back and think about the way I am, I might also be seeing a glimpse of what my dad was like.” 

Brooke, Kai and Nikki

Shortly after Lee’s death, Nikki and a group of friends took on a 50 kilometre walk in his memory, raising money to buy a memorial bench. However, it was so successful that they raised £5000 more than they needed. 

“I wanted to give the money to a charity that combined both the military and children,” says Nikki. “Those were the two most important things in Lee’s life, but I couldn’t find anything that resonated with me. That’s when I first had the idea to start something myself, but at that moment in time, I was in a very dark place and wasn't in the right frame of mind. It stayed that way until nine months after Lee’s death when, while on a breakaway, something clicked. I was sat watching Kai in the pool, laughing and smiling with his cousins, and I could see my old Kai returning. I realised that I hadn’t seen him laugh like that in months. It was a real turning point for me. I suddenly realised that I needed to sort myself out and show the children that life was for living. That’s what their daddy would have wanted.” 

Lee having a conversation with Brooke on holiday

It was this revelation that led Nikki to create Scotty’s Little Soldiers, the charity for bereaved military children. 14 years later and the charity is still growing, offering members access to Scotty’s breaks, grants, group events and optional one-to-one bereavement support. Through these opportunities, they’re able to meet lots of bereaved British Forces children who can understand and relate to what they’ve been through.   

“Scotty's has helped me smile again,” says Brooke. “It's helped me feel loved and understood and realise that I’m not alone. I've not met friends through Scotty’s, I've met family.”

“I can’t remember it not being there,” says Kai. “I miss my dad all the time, but it’s good to know Scotty’s is there. I think Dad would like the charity because it has his name in it.” 


Some of Scotty's Members attending the 2023 London Remembrance Parade


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