UK

Soldier Dies After Collapsing On Yorkshire Moor Training Run

30/08/2013 15:42 BST

A "talented and kind" British Army soldier has collapsed and died on a three-mile moorland run during a training exercise.

The 26-year-old has been named by the Ministry of Defence as Private Michael Ihemere, 26, from Umuodo, Nigeria.

The young man was a member of the 1st Battalion, The Mercian Regiment, who joined fierce fighting while serving in Afghanistan.

He collapsed on Wednesday morning while taking part in an exercise on Army ranges near Leyburn, North Yorkshire.

Despite being treated by paramedics, he tragically died at the scene.

private michael ihemere

Private Michael Ihemere died during training on a moorland run

His commanding officer paid tribute to the married soldier, who joined the British Army in November 2011.

Lieutenant Colonel Mark Ellwood MBE said: "Private Ihemere quickly established himself as a valued member of his platoon.

"He proved to be a reliable, talented and popular soldier, respected by all across the Company.

"His likeable and kind nature immediately endeared him to those he worked with.

"Whilst on operations, he was involved in some fierce fighting but always remained calm, did his job well and supported his friends and colleagues with resolute loyalty.

"Private Ihemere showed early signs that he had the potential to progress in the Army and had a bright future.

"His loss will be keenly felt across the battalion and the thoughts, prayers and sympathies of all those that had the pleasure to know Private Ihemere are with his wife and family at this difficult time."

His widow Blessing attended a memorial parade at Marne Barracks, Catterick Garrison, this morning.

North Yorkshire Police were investigating on behalf of the coroner but were not treating his death as suspicious.

A force spokesman said: "Officers were called just before 9am on Wednesday 28 August 2013, following a report that a 26-year-old man, serving in the military, had collapsed at Barden Moor, Leyburn.

"Sadly, despite the efforts of paramedics, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Officers are working with the Army to establish the full circumstances surrounding the death, which is not suspicious, so that a file can be prepared on behalf of the coroner."

The 1st Battalion the Mercian Regiment returned from Afghanistan in April.

Private Ihemere's collapse followed the deaths of three reservists in the Brecon Beacons while on an SAS selection training course when temperatures reached 30C (86F) in July.

Corporal James Dunsby, Lance Corporal Craig Roberts and Trooper Eddie Maher were carrying heavy packs while attempting to cross the Pen y Fan mountain.

Conditions in North Yorkshire were much cooler on Wednesday, around 17C (62.6F) with a slight breeze.

It was not clear if the soldiers were carrying heavy loads for this exercise.