Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2007, Corporal Paul Joszko, 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, Private Scott Kennedy and Private Jamie Kerr of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, were killed when an IED detonated in the Al Amtahiya district in the southeast of Basra City.
Corporal Joszko had joined the army eight years earlier and was on his second tour of Iraq. Major Steve Webb said: “Corporal Joszko was one of the most professional soldiers I have had the privilege of serving with. He had a dedication to his role both as a soldier and as a leader of men that inspired confidence and was deeply respected. It was this dedication that motivated him to volunteer to deploy early to Iraq in order that he could gain a deeper understanding of operations in time for the Company’s deployment. He loved his job and was the epitome of what a Section Commander should be, a soldier’s soldier, acutely aware of the privilege of command and the burden of responsibility that came with it.” Paul, from Mountain Ash in Wales, was 28 years old, with a ten-month-old baby boy and a second son born six months after his death.
Private Kennedy had been determined as a child to join the army (following his grandfather who had served with the Black Watch), and had volunteered to serve in Iraq. Major Steven Webb, said: “Private Kennedy played his part to the full: hard-working, conscientious and very aware of the team around him and his role in it. He was quick-witted, intelligent and possessed a razor-sharp sense of humour and steely resolve. He was also his own man: more than prepared to play his part in the team, but definitely not one to follow the crowd for the sake of it. It was this combination of team-spirit and individuality that made his platoon and the Company much stronger for his presence.” Scott, from Dunfermeline, was 20 years old and anticipating the birth of his first child.
Private Kerr had joined the Black Watch two years earlier and served in Northern Ireland before volunteering for Iraq. Lieutenant Colonel James Swift said: “He was a good soldier, with a very promising future, who gave up his life whilst serving his country. There can be no higher testament to a man. He had successfully conducted strike operations, protected convoys, and helped to defend his base. He had previously been involved in a contact with insurgents and displayed courage and professionalism under fire. Jamie was a popular, happy young man who enjoyed soldiering and was good at it. He applied himself, worked hard, was dependable, professional and enthusiastic. He was already displaying potential for promotion and expected to attend a JNCO course on completion of his tour.” Jamie, from Cowdenbeath, was 20 years old.