Second Brecon Beacons Soldier Who Died In Training Named As Edward Maher

The second of two army reservists who died in the Brecon Beacons has only now been named as Edward Maher, because his identity had not been confirmed until this week, the Ministry of Defence said.

Maher died alongside Lance Corporal Craig Roberts after they collapsed in soaring temperatures while scaling south Wales's highest mountain Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons on July 13.

Naming Maher, a Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

The second soldier who died has been named as Edward Maher

"Investigations are being carried out by Powys police and the army. We cannot comment any further until these investigations are complete."

In a brief statement released through the MoD, Maher's family said: "At this time of great sadness, Edward's family has asked that they be left alone to grieve in private."

Inquests of both reservists are due to be opened and adjourned this afternoon by Powys coroner Louise Hunt.

Although the full facts of the case will not be heard, the hearing will see the issuing of interim death certificates - allowing the bereaved families to begin funeral preparations.

It is also anticipated that a brief medical cause of death will be read into the public record for both cases.

A third man who was also taken ill and airlifted to safety remains in hospital.

Sources have said that L/Cpl Roberts and his colleague died from heat exhaustion on July 13 as temperatures hit 29.5C (85.1F).

Witnesses reported seeing a number of soldiers on the training exercise "pleading for water" for someone who seemed to "be in distress".

It is believed the group had been taking part in the aptitude training element of the course to become SAS reservists. They had been tutored in how to survive in hostile territory and were embarking on the testing stage of the process.

The Brecon Beacons is one of several locations used by the British military for training. Its rugged and sprawling terrain helps prepare soldiers physically and mentally for warfare, as well as putting their logistic skills to the test - making it an ideal area for elite forces personnel such as the SAS.

Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in southern Britain, is home to the gruelling "Fan Dance", which involves would-be special forces personnel marching up the mountain, down the other side and back again carrying a weighted pack and rifle - then doing the route in reverse in a set time.

When news of the deaths broke, tributes poured in for former teaching assistant L/Cpl Roberts, of Penrhyn Bay, near Llandudno.

The 24-year-old had reportedly served with the TA for more than five years, including tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a statement issued through the MoD, his father Kelvin Roberts said: "We are all devastated at the loss of our beloved Craig.

"This has left a massive hole in all our lives.

"We wholeheartedly supported Craig in his military endeavours and it gives us some comfort, though great sadness, that he died in the pursuit of his dream.

"Next month Craig was due to start a new post in the office of the Secretary of State for Education and we were all very proud of him."