Parents of canal tragedy Leeds soldier pay tribute to son

Nick Kinloch.
Nick Kinloch.
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The parents of a Leeds soldier who died when he fell into a canal just a day after returning from helping out at the Olympics – and just months after his first tour of duty in Afghanistan – have paid tribute to their only son.

Nick Kinloch, 29, a Territorial Army soldier with the 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, fell into the water near Concordia Street close to Leeds Bridge early on Tuesday evening. (August 14)

His death is not being treated as suspicious.

He had recently returned from his first tour of duty in Afghanistan, where he spent seven months as part of Operation Herrick 15.

For the past two months, he had been on deployment at the London 2012 Olympic Games, helping with venue security and marshalling crowds.

Speaking at the family home in Stourton Grange, dad Billy said: “He said [the Olympics] was fantastic.

“He said it was really good because foreign visitors were saying how nice it was to see soldiers smiling. He was always smiling. He had a lovely nature.”

“I talked to him when he came back and he told his war stories,” Mr Kinloch added. “Five days before they were due to come back they had a big contact with insurgents. Nick fired 600 rounds but no-one was hurt. He said ‘five days before coming home it’s not what you want’.

“But that had nothing to do with it [Nick’s death]. He really liked the TA and he really enjoyed himself.

“He got home on Monday afternoon from the Olympics and we had a brilliant day in. He got up Tuesday, and just before dinner he said he was off into town to meet some mates.”

Mr and Mrs Kinloch thanked Nick’s huge group of friends for their “phenomenal” support since his death.

Mum Sabine said: “We are just so proud of him and humbled by the reaction of his friends. There are a hundred things I could say about him. But to us, he’s just Nick, our only son. He was loved and he knew he was loved.”

Fitness fanatic and rugby fan Nick was passionate about Leeds Rhinos. He was a season ticket holder with the club, and he and his dad would sit next to each other in the North Stand.

Nick joined the TA three years ago. Commanding officer Lt Col Ian Crowley said he was a “rising star” who was “committed to his battalion and will be missed by his many friends in the Regiment”. Funeral arrangements are yet to be made for Nick, however Mr Kinloch said it was hoped a wake would be held at Headingley.