Parents told of fear for son killed by ISIS

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield
Konstandinos Erik Scurfield
0
Have your say

Parents of a Barnsley man killed by terror group Islamic State told their MP they feared for his safety just a few weeks before he was killed.

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, aged 25, became the first Briton to be killed while fighting against ISIS in Syria.

Kostandinos Erik Scurfield

Kostandinos Erik Scurfield

The former Royal Marine joined Kurdish forces as a volunteer fighter in December after leaving the British military.

The former Royston High School pupil reportedly left the elite 45 Commando regiment after befriending fighters in the Middle East on Facebook.

He is believed to have travelled to Syria hoping to provide medical and humanitarian support.

Mr Scurfield was killed in an area where ISIS has been attacking Kurdish and Christian communities.

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield

His parents, archaeologist dad Christopher and mum Vasiliki, from Royston, met Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis last month to raise their concerns for their son’s safety.

Mr Jarvis raised the issue in Parliament afterward, when he asked how many Brits had travelled to Syria and Iraq to support forces opposed to Islamic State.

Mr Jarvis, a former Army officer, said: “They came to me a few weeks ago very worried for their son’s safety and tragically it appears their worst fears have been realised.

“Erik was an experienced former Royal Marine who was horrified by the atrocities being carried out by ISIS.

In this undated image provided by Jordan Matson, 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. Scurfield was shot dead on Monday, March 2, 2015 in Syria, a Kurdish commander said Wednesday. At least one other foreign fighter, Australian Ase Johnson, is known to have been killed fighting alongside the Kurds. (AP Photo courtesy Jordan Matson)

In this undated image provided by Jordan Matson, 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. Scurfield was shot dead on Monday, March 2, 2015 in Syria, a Kurdish commander said Wednesday. At least one other foreign fighter, Australian Ase Johnson, is known to have been killed fighting alongside the Kurds. (AP Photo courtesy Jordan Matson)

“His family’s understanding was he travelled to Syria hoping to provide medical and humanitarian support as an expert in battlefield medicine. There is an issue that needs to be addressed as Erik was certainly not the first person to travel to Syria to join forces resisting ISIS.”

Mr Scurfield, who studied drama at New College, Nottingham, for two years, joined the Royal Marines after failing to find work as an actor, despite appearances in Hollyoaks and Grange Hill in 2007. Next-door neighbour Mary-Jane Hemmings said: “It does not surprise me he went to fight against ISIS.

“He was strong-willed and always seemed conscientious in whatever he did, and he enjoyed his job.

“He knew what he was about and I’m sure he knew what he was doing when he signed up to go to Syria.”

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield

Konstandinos Erik Scurfield

Another neighbour David Miller said: “I’m not sure how Erik got involved in Syria, but it would be in keeping with their sense of duty and honour.”

Mark Campbell, a pro-Kurdish rights activist, broke the news of Mr Scurfield’s death to his family in a telephone call.

He said: “There were three questions really his mother wanted to know immediately. She wanted to know if there’s a body – and there is. She wanted to know when he died and she wanted to know if he died in combat – which he had. It was so incredibly difficult, it was very, very emotional, she was literally in tears the whole conversation.”

* Read more: Video: Volunteer fighter’s parents had contacted Barnsley MP over concerns for his safety

Family of Barnsley man killed fighting ISIS pay tribute to their son

First pictures of Barnsley man killed fighting ISIS

His flame burned bright with love courage conviction and honour

* Other news:

Devastated South Yorkshire mum’s tribute to sons killed by dad

Devolve £15 billion to the north

His flame burned brightly with love courage conviction and honour

Dismay at Dolly Parton book scheme cut in Rotherham

Send us your stories