Welsh Guard sergeant killed in live fire training exercise

A Welsh Guards sergeant has died after sustaining an injury in a live firing exercise in the south west of the region, an army spokesperson has confirmed.

The incident is understood to have taken place at the Castlemartin Training Area in Pembrokeshire.

The soldier, who has not been named by the military, died on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the army announced his passing “with great sadness” – while a probe into the events leading up to his death is currently underway.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time”, they added.

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

The soldier’s next of kin have been informed, according to The Sun, which first reported the passing of the sergeant, who had reportedly served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was due to be redeployed 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.

The Welsh Guards have a dual role as both an infantry unit and ceremonial soldiers, guarding the Royal Family and palaces as well as contributing to state ceremonies.

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.

Additional reporting by PA

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