Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Brecon death soldier 'adored army'

Cpl James Dunsby, 31, died on Tuesday in hospital where he had been in a serious condition after falling ill during an Army exercise on July 13

An army reservist who died after falling ill during SAS selection training in the Brecon Beacons earlier this month "adored the army" and believed passionately in his duty, his family have said.

Corporal James Dunsby, 31, died on Tuesday in hospital where he had been in a serious condition after falling ill during the exercise on July 13, one of the hottest days of the year.

His death follows that of colleagues Edward John Maher and Lance Corporal Craig John Roberts, who also lost their lives after collapsing during the military exercise on south Wales's highest mountain.

In a statement issued through the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the family of Cpl Dunsby, who was a member of the Army Reserves (The Royal Yeomanry), said the 31-year-old had the "most infectious enthusiasm for life".

"He was the most loving and dependable husband, not to mention the most handsome of men of whom could not be more cherished," they said. "James was and will remain a dearly loved, son, brother and husband. He had the uniquely wonderful ability to endear, enchant and captivate all who he met with his naughty sense of humour and highly intelligent wit.

"With James as your friend you were ensured loyalty, strength, allegiance, protection and most of all a damn good laugh. James adored the army and believed so passionately in his duty as a protector of Queen and country and of the realm. James was so dearly loved by so many and will be sorely missed. Hurrah and Huzzah for James Dunsby; a greater man you could not meet. We ask to be allowed to come to terms with our grief and loss of our beloved son and brother James.

The MoD, which confirmed Cpl Dunsby's death on Tuesday night, has not revealed where he was from. An inquest into his death is expected to be opened in due course. Witnesses on the day have described seeing two soldiers "clearly in distress" who pleaded with them for some drinking water.

An inquest at Brecon Law Courts in Powys, mid Wales, gave the medical deaths of L/Cpl Roberts and Mr Maher as "unascertained" and said further tests would be carried out. L/Cpl Roberts had been pronounced dead on the mountain at 5.15pm, while Mr Maher died at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil almost three hours later.

Investigations have been launched by both the police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Powys coroner Louise Hunt will also launch her own investigation, which she said was covered by Article 2 of the Human Rights Act.

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