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Soldier dies after being injured in live fire training exercise in Wales

Tom Pilgrim, PA
·2 min read

A sergeant in the Welsh Guards has died after being injured in a live firing exercise in south-west Wales.

It is understood the incident, first reported by the Sun newspaper, occurred at the Castlemartin Training Area in Pembrokeshire.

An Army spokesperson said: “It is with great sadness we can confirm the death of a soldier on March 4.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time.

“The circumstances surrounding this death are being investigated and it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

According to the Sun, the soldier’s next of kin have been informed.

The newspaper said the sergeant had served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was training ahead of a planned deployment to Iraq in the summer.

It reported that the soldier had been awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct medal by the Prince of Wales, Colonel of the Welsh Guards, in 2019.

According to the Ministry of Defence website, the Welsh Guards have a “dual role” as a “light role infantry” as well as “world class ceremonial soldiers, guarding the Royal Family and Royal palaces such as Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London and conducting State Ceremonial duties”.

Previous incidents at the Castlemartin ranges have claimed the lives of soldiers.

In 2017, Corporals Matthew Hatfield and Darren Neilson of the Royal Tank Regiment died from injuries they suffered after their tank exploded during a training exercise on a firing range.

A 21-year-old soldier, Michael “Mike” Maguire, died at Castlemartin in 2012 after being shot in the head while relaxing at a safe location just outside the training range.

A 2013 inquest into his death heard he was hit in the temple by a single machine gun bullet fired by a fellow soldier during a training exercise.

The inquest jury ruled Ranger Maguire, who was a member of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, had been unlawfully killed.