Kosta: Tributes to ex-Marine killed in Syria

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POSTS on his Facebook page suggest a thoughtful young man with an interest in social issues and justice.

In one photograph he is standing in front a Malcolm X poster, in another he quoted the German student revolutionary Sophie Scholl, who was executed by the Nazis, on the importance of individual sacrifice in a “righteous cause”.

Among his ‘likes’ is The Oscar Wilde Appreciation Society.

But to his friends on the battlefields of Syria, Mr Scurfield was a courageous soldier who “wanted nothing more than to bring the fight to the enemy.”

Fellow fighter, Jordan Matson, thought to be an American, wrote on Facebook: “Words cannot describe how honoured I have been to fight at your side...we were together from his first day here and you couldn’t ask for a more disciplined warrior.

“Kosta, as we call him, was from the United Kingdom and was born a Greek citizen.

Kurdish fighters and foreign volunteers fighting together against the against the Islamic State group, including American citizen Jordan Matson, second right, Australian citizen volunteer Ase Johnson, right, and British citizen Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, foreground, pose for a group photo in Sinjar, Iraq.

Kurdish fighters and foreign volunteers fighting together against the against the Islamic State group, including American citizen Jordan Matson, second right, Australian citizen volunteer Ase Johnson, right, and British citizen Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, foreground, pose for a group photo in Sinjar, Iraq.

“He served both in the Greek army and as a British Royal Marine commando up until he came here. He served with me in Jezza and Shengal.

“Kosta volunteered for every attack and guard duty opportunity. He wanted nothing more than to bring the fight to the enemy.

“I’m going to carry on your legacy brother, I will never forget you. I love you man.

“Save me a place up there, big guy.”

Hands down one of the greatest people I have ever met in my life.

John Foxx

John Foxx, who also fought alongside Mr Scurfield in a unit for foreign fighters, said: “Hands down one of the greatest people I have ever met in my life. I cannot even begin to describe the character of this man because a Facebook post can no way do it justice....you will be avenged my brother.”

Neighbours in Barnsley described their shock.

Mary Jane Hemmings said his death was “heartbreaking”, adding: “I’ve been so shocked. I really am terribly, terribly upset.

“It doesn’t surprise me that he went because he seemed to do everything 100 per cent and he seemed to have deep feelings. He was very conscientious, he was a lovely person.”

She added: “He was a very strong-willed man, I would say, and he knew what he was about. I am sure he knew what he was doing.”

Mrs Hemmings, who lives next door to the family, said Mr Scurfield had a lovely personality and film-star good looks.

She said he moved to the street with his parents and sister from Nottingham about 12 years ago.

She had known Mr Scurfield since he was at school and he talk to her about his adventures in the Royal Marines.

The pensioner said he did a university course in drama before joining the military and had ambitions to become a professional actor. Mrs Hemmings said he may have had a few roles before enlisting in the Marines.

She said: “He had a wonderful personality. He was a friendly person and he was a very handsome young man. And as a child he was super-looking and he grew up to be a film star, if you like.

“And when he was wanting to go into acting I thought ‘with his looks he’ll do a good job’, but he didn’t get there, unfortunately.”

Mrs Hemmings said she did not know why he went to Syria but was confident he would have been well aware of the dangers.

“I’m sure,” she said. “This is what you’ve got admire about people like that.”

“He loved what he was doing in the Marines. Why on earth he’s gone out to Syria ... it’s a great pity.”

Neighbour David Miller said he was not sure how Mr Scurfield got involved in Syria “but it would be in keeping with their sense of duty and honour.”

A spokeswoman for New College Nottingham, where Mr Scurfield studied drama for two years until 2010, said: “Our staff remember him fondly, he was an excellent student and a popular, well-liked young man. Our deepest sympathies are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

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Kosta - Barnsley warrior who died trying to combat IS atrocities