Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 2010, Corporal Matthew James Stenton, the Royal Dragoon Guards, and Lance Corporal Stephen Daniel Monkhouse, 1st Battalion, the Scots Guards, were killed in Afghanistan. They were providing security for the building of Route Trident in Basharan when they came under fire; in the process of attempting to rescue a wounded colleague, both were killed by small arms fire.
Corporal Stenton joined the army on leaving school and attended the Army Foundation College at Harrogate. He served twice in Iraq, and then passed the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank Crew Commanders’ Course. He is remembered as being kind, tenacious, resourceful and one who always looked out for others.
Sergeant Scott Dyer said of him: Corporal Matthew Stenton is what I can only describe as an amazing soldier. His drive and focus were an inspiration to us all. Always the first to volunteer, he led from the front and never let anything break his enthusiasm, even when times were hard….he loved the lads and would do anything to help them. We have lost a comrade, a friend and an amazing soldier who died a brave death defending an injured comrade. His love for the regiment was inspirational and his memory will always live on with us. Corporal Matty Stenton was a true hero. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time. Quis Separabit.”
Matthew, from Wakefield, was 23 years old.
Lance Corporal Monkhouse joined the army in 2003 and later served in Iraq. He took the Drummers’ Courses Class 2 and 3 at the Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming, doing exceptionally well with no prior experience; he represented the regiment and battalion at many musical events. Lance Corporal Monkhouse passed the Junior Non-Commissioned Officers’ cadre and was promoted in 2009. He is remembered as being charismatic, determined, full of fun, and a true brother and friend.
Lieutenant Colonel Lincoln Jopp said of him: "I have known Lance Corporal Monkhouse since 2004. He made an immediate impression. He did well as a Guardsman, but it was only when he moved up into the Pipes and Drums that he really shone. In fact, he excelled. He loved his drumming and, only a week before he was killed, he proudly played here in Lashkar Gah for our Colonel, HRH The Duke of Kent. He was the heavy machine gunner of our lead vehicle and had not only mastered that role, but was also our expert on detecting IEDs. Consummate soldier by day and, on his practice pad back in the tent, paradiddler by night. Ten minutes before he was killed, Lance Corporal Monkhouse was eagerly telling me about his plans for R&R. Greenock lost one of its finest last night. Monkey died coming to the aid of a Guardsman who had been shot. He did what every soldier hopes he will have the courage to do if the need arises; he laid down his life for his friend. We salute him and we honour our fallen.”
Stephen, from Greenock in Scotland, was 28 years old and left behind a young son.