The soldiers were part of a patrol travelling along Route 611 between Forward Operating Base Ouellette and Patrol Base Lashkar Gah Durai in Nahr-e Saraj district when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED). They were evacuated by air to the military hospital at Camp Bastion, where it was confirmed that they had been killed in action.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

I was deeply saddened to learn of the deaths of these soldiers, each highly praised and respected by their colleagues and commanders. It is clear from the tributes paid to them that they were exceptional men who served their country with distinction. My thoughts go out to the families and friends of these brave men at this very difficult time.

Brigadier Rupert Jones MBE, Commander Task Force Helmand, said:

The loss of these 3 brave Scottish soldiers comes as a great blow to everyone in the Task Force, but leaves us all the more determined in our task to do justice to their memory. Their families are in our thoughts and I hope that they can draw a little comfort from the affection in which Corporal Savage, Fusilier Flint and Private Hetherington were held by their brothers in arms and from the courage they displayed.

Fusilier Samuel Flint, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment Of Scotland (2 SCOTS)

Fusilier Flint was born in Blackpool on 19 May 1991 and joined the British Army in November 2011. Following his recruit training he joined 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland in June 2012 as they began their Mission Specific Training for their deployment to Afghanistan on Operation Herrick 18. He approached this training in a hugely enthusiastic and motivated manner. He was an extremely fit soldier who, although quiet, was full of humour and popular with his peers.

Fusilier Flint deployed to Afghanistan on 9 March 2013. He was a member of 3 Section, 1 Platoon in a District Enabling Company composed of Bravo Company Group, 2 SCOTS , part of the First Fusiliers Battlegroup. He was based in Forward Operating Base Ouellette in the Northern Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Fusilier Flint was a motorsports enthusiast and an avid Manchester City fan. He was dedicated to his family and spent his spare time at home in Blackpool or socialising with friends in Edinburgh.

Fusilier Flint was a vastly impressive infantry soldier and it was clear that he had an extremely promising future ahead of him. His loss has been felt deeply by all who knew and worked with him and he will live forever in their memories.

The Flint-Broughton family have made the following statement:

The whole family is completely devastated. Everyone should know that Sam loved his job and made his whole family and everyone that knew him very proud.

Sam was always the life and soul of the party, a real ladies man, witty funny, the real cheeky chappy. He was a loving son, the protective brother, courageous nephew, the caring uncle, the loyal grandson that anyone would wish to have.

We want to thank everyone for the kind tributes and strong support.

“Always in our hearts and minds, we love you Sam.”

Lieutenant Colonel Robin Lindsay, Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

Fusilier Samuel Flint arrived at the Battalion at the very beginning of Mission Specific Training in June 2012 and made an immediate impression as a fit, enthusiastic, motivated and capable soldier who was quick with a smile and a laugh. Despite his young age and relative inexperience it was clear to us all that he was a soldier brimming with skill and ability. He excelled during the many exercises that his Platoon took part in during the build-up to operations and had been identified as a potential Junior Non-Commissioned Officer following the tour of Afghanistan.

Perhaps more importantly, he was quick to form deep friendships with his fellow Jocks and he was always one to help others around him and to give of himself for the benefit of his Section and Platoon. Fusilier Flint was not only committed in military life but revelled in outdoor pursuits and activities such as climbing and mountain biking. He approached everything he did with total motivation and it was clear that his ability matched his ambition. A bright future lay ahead for Fusilier Flint and it is cruel to see that future taken away from him.

We have all been immensely proud to have known and worked with Fusilier Sam Flint and he will forever be in the memory of the Battalion and of the Regiment. We bid him farewell and promise to continue his work in Afghanistan and to commemorate his sacrifice. All of us in the Battalion offer our deepest condolences to Fusilier Sam Flint’s parents, brothers, sisters and wider family during this hard and tragic period, but in particular to his brother David who serves with us in the Battalion.

Lieutenant Colonel Jon Swift, Commanding Officer, First Fusiliers, Transition Support Unit Nahr-e Saraj, said:

The loss of Fusilier Samuel Flint will be keenly felt by all in the First Fusiliers Battlegroup. Despite being a young, operationally inexperienced Fusilier on his first tour of Afghanistan, he had settled quickly into life on the frontline. He was a real character and a professional soldier with a bright future. Fusilier Flint’s sacrifice is a stark reminder that we should be so very proud of those who risk their lives so willingly in the pursuit of peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this most difficult of times.

Major Stephen Dallard, Officer Commanding B Company, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

Fusilier Sam Flint joined B Company in January 2013 and during the final stages of pre-deployment training, Fusilier Flint made a real impression on his new Platoon. Despite having only joined 2 SCOTS in June 2012 he demonstrated a real aptitude for soldiering, a trait continued into his deployment on Op Herrick 18.

A gregarious character, Fusilier Flint was often found to be the centre of any prank and had the ability to make people laugh at any time with his keen sense of humour. Genuine and loyal he was the epitome of the selfless commitment and dedication that is expected of our young soldiers today. A true friend to those serving with him, Fusilier Flint will be sorely missed by B Company. His loss is deeply felt by all of us and our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.

Captain Euan Eltringham, Officer Commanding Fire Support Group, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

I had the pleasure of taking Fusilier Flint through his basic training at Infantry Training Centre Catterick. Very quickly after starting he stood out amongst his peers – bright, enthusiastic, fit and with a keen sense of humour. It is no exaggeration to say he was an utter joy to train and work with as he displayed a real aptitude for soldiering.

There will be many others who will be able to comment upon this aptitude, but what I found most endearing and what I want to bring out was that he was that wonderful phenomenon of a genuine, honest young man. He never had a bad word to say about anyone and upon his face would always be a beaming smile accompanied with a cheerful ‘Good Morning Sir’ whenever I ran into him. His loss will be keenly felt by the Battalion and I will miss watching him develop from the young man I met in Catterick. My thoughts go out to his family at this most difficult time.

Lieutenant Robin Hold, 1 Platoon Commander, B Company, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

Fusilier Sam Flint was one of the most genuine individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with. There was not a single instance when I saw him other than when he was full of laughter and happiness. His personality was contagious, affecting all members of the Platoon. Although he had only been in 2 SCOTS for a short time, he had made a huge impact with his peers and his chain of command.

He intended to make a career in the Army and I have no doubt that his acute sense of judgement, determination and willingness to involve himself in every aspect of Army life would have ensured the greatest of successes. I speak for the whole Platoon when I say his loss will have an immeasurable impact. His ability and personality will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends who are suffering from such a tragic loss.

Warrant Officer Class 2 Stevie Main, Company Sergeant Major, B Company, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

Fusilier Flint was a Jock that you could always trust. He was very keen to learn, hard-working and always offered to help others. He had a can do attitude and he would never let you down. Sam Flint epitomised everything that being a Fusilier in the Royal Regiment of Scotland is all about.

Lance Corporal Clinton Prime, Second in Command, 3 Section, 1 Platoon, B Company, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

Today is a very sad and heartsore day for anyone who knew Sam Flint. He was a great soldier and a great friend. He was always kind and polite and it was an honour to have him in my Section. He will be sadly missed; my regards go to his family.

Lance Corporal Stewart Lyons, Fire Support Group, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

You brought a smile to my face no matter how bad a day I had and drove me nuts fixing that car. Our banter with David and Bez can never be repeated. You made us all proud. It has been an honour working alongside you and calling you my friend. You will be forever missed.

Fusilier Kieran Campbell, Rifleman, 1 Platoon, B Company, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

Sam was fun to be around, I always gave him stick for being English and joining a Scottish regiment but it never bothered him. Sam used to spend most weekends in camp as travelling home was a bit of a graft for him, I stayed some weekends to keep him company and we had a few good nights in Edinburgh.

Sam was a great friend and soldier. We both joined the Army at the same time and passed out from Infantry Training Centre Catterick on 25 May 2012. We joined the same battalion and we both found ourselves in A Company. We were lucky enough to be chosen to go to Afghanistan and even luckier to be in the same platoon and section. It is mad to think we came from Catterick to Afghanistan; I’m just sorry we can’t finish our tour together.

Flint was well-liked in our Platoon, 1 Platoon, B Company. We came to the Platoon with a new bunch of lads from another company and within the two months here we had clicked. Sam was morale for the Platoon, daft at times but always happy unless you threw anything with more than two legs in his bedspace. I can’t express in words how much I’ll miss him and how much of a loss he is for the Platoon, the Company and 2 SCOTS as a whole. We have lost a great soldier and a great friend. Rest in peace, buddy.

Fusilier Ross Fletcher, Rifleman, 3 Platoon, B Company, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

Today myself and the rest of 2 SCOTS lost a valued member of the team. Flint was a brilliant soldier and an even better mate. After being with him through training at Infantry Training Centre Catterick and onwards to A Company in the 2nd Battalion, I knew Flint’s funny and friendly nature. He has been side by side with me and Fusilier Campbell and we have had some great laughs, whether it’s dancing about doing block jobs at Catterick or having to drive seven hours to Blackpool one night because he forgot his Service Dress.

He has been a trustworthy and close friend for two years and words can’t describe our feelings. It is as if it hasn’t happened and we’re expecting to see him tomorrow saying, ‘Ay up Treacle’. Me and the rest of the boys send our greatest sympathies to Sam’s parents and his brother David but I know that he passed away doing a job he truly enjoyed. He buzzed for this job so that gives me some peace of mind.

Fusilier Robert McSkimming, Rifleman, 1 Platoon, B Company, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

Today I lost a good friend. There was never a dull moment living and working with Sam, he was always smiling and laughing and making everyone do the same.