Rigby's Guardians MCC, a non-profit organisation in Middleton, Oldham, United Kingdom, has organised a fundraising motorbike ride in memory of a British soldier who died on an Iraqi base 3 months ago. Lance Corporal Scott Hetherington who was serving with the 2nd Battalion the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment died under mysterious circumstances while serving at a base in Taji, Baghdad, Iraq. Hetherington, who had just become the proud father of a baby girl, was a soldier loved by his colleagues and superiors, and a fine man loved by his family, friends and his whole community.
The ride will take place on 21st January, at noon. The bikers will be assembling outside Rochdale Town Hall and then ride out to Middleton Arena. There they will sign a book of condolence, which has already been opened. The funds raised will be donated to the Royal British Legion.
Scott Hetherington's death
Hetherington did not die as a result of enemy activity according to MOD(Ministry of Defence), they are still investigating the incident that took place on 2nd January. He was a Vehicle Commander in the Force Protection Platoon. Lieutenant Colonel Rob Singleton, the commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion said that Hetherington was a talented and a very professional soldier who was a great leader as well. He was a fun person who was full of character. He always brought cheer to the entire battalion. Lance Corporal Lynch, one of Hetherington's colleagues said that he was a person who always had an answer and a resolution for everything. He will be missed by the whole battalion.
Rigby's Guardians MCC has invited all the veterans and the members of the public to take part in the motorbike ride. Gavin Vitler, organiser of the event, called Hetherington a Middleton lad who served his country with honour and said that his family is very happy about the ride and that they appreciate everybody’s support.
One of many events
Rigby's Guardians MCC's fundraising motorbike ride is just one of the fundraising events that is happening or that has already happened in memory of Hetherington. XOXO Cocktail Lounge, Middleton, already raised more than £300 for Hetherington's daughter via donations and from their sale of their cocktail named ‘Scotty Snowball’. ‘Snowball’ was Hetherington's nickname in the army. JustGiving, the global online social platform for giving, so far raised over £5,000 for Hetherington's family.
Mike Penning, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, expressed 'great sadness and regret' over Lance Corporal Scott Hetherington's death. He asked for the family's privacy to be respected. He also said that an investigation has been launched to look into this tragic incident's surrounding circumstances.
Thousands of Iraqi security forces are being trained in Taji by the UK troops. Hetherington's death comes in the wake of the British Armed Forces marking their first anniversary of no British soldiers getting killed in combat operations since 1968.
MOD is still to announce Hetherington’s repatriation back to the UK, which is set to take place at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire.