Teenage soldier died while training in 40.3C heatwave after Army refused to cancel training exercise

Teenage soldier died while training in 40.3C heatwave after Army refused to cancel physical training exercise despite weather warning

  • The soldier, who has not yet been named, is thought to have collapsed in training
  • He was in a physical training exercise on July 21 in the record-breaking heatwave
  • The Army says the session took place early in the morning amid strict guidelines

A teenage soldier died while training in last month’s record-breaking heatwave after the Army refused to cancel a physical training exercise. 

The soldier is thought to have collapsed while taking part in a training session on July 21, two days after the peak of a heatwave which saw temperatures reach 40.3C. 

It is understood he died two days later after the session in East Anglia, although details of his unit and exactly where the training took place have not been disclosed.

The Army has said the training took place early in the morning, well before the worst of the heat, and they fell within safety guidelines for heat and humidity.

The soldier was on a training exercise during last month's record-breaking heatwave when he died. Pictured: British Army soldiers in a training exercise in the Brecon Beacons, South Wales

The soldier was on a training exercise during last month’s record-breaking heatwave when he died. Pictured: British Army soldiers in a training exercise in the Brecon Beacons, South Wales

A source told The Sun the exercise had gone ahead ‘despite the weather warning, ‘ and the regiment the soldier was in had ‘carried on physical training’.

A spokesman for the Army told the paper: ‘Our thoughts are with soldier’s family and friends.’

The MoD has been contacted for comment.

According to Ministry of Defence data, between January 2000 and August 2021, the number of Armed Forces personnel who have died due to heat in training exercises is five.

That’s compared to 29 aircraft accident deaths, 22 land transport deaths and 17 live fire incidents.

However, the Armed Forces have come under fire in recent years over a number of incidents in training exercises linked to high heat.

A total of 20 British soldiers have died in the Brecon Beacons since 1984, most of which were undertaking gruelling SAS training at the time.

Corporal James Dunsby, pictured, was one of three Army reservists who died undergoing SAS selection in the Brecon Beacons in 2013

Corporal James Dunsby, pictured, was one of three Army reservists who died undergoing SAS selection in the Brecon Beacons in 2013

Corporal Edward Maher

Lance Corporal Craig Roberts

Corporal Edward Maher, left, and Lance Corporal Craig Roberts, right, also died on the SAS selection march in 2013. The Army runs two such marches a year

Three army reservists – Corporal James Dunsby, Corporal Edward Maher and Lance Corporal Craig Roberts – died during a selection march in 2013.

Recruits are expected to carry a 45lb pack and their rifle on a 16-mile course.

Another soldier to have died on the march was Corporal Joshua Hoole in July 2016.

An inquest into his death found ‘very serious; training and planning failings at every level during what was a hot day.

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