A British army soldier who died after collapsing while on a training exercise on Wednesday has been identified as Private Michael Ihemere.

Private Ihemere, 26, originally from Umuodo in the eastern part of Nigeria, was a member of the 1st Battalion, The Mercian Regiment and had recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

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

His commanding officer today 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.”

After successfully completing infantry training he was posted to the 1st Battalion, The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) in September 2012.

He deployed to Afghanistan in October 2012 serving with C Company, based in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province.

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

North Yorkshire Police are investigating on behalf of the coroner but are not treating the 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.

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“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 a tour of Afghanistan in April.

The soldier collapsed on the Army-controlled Catterick ranges while carrying out a three-mile run over rugged terrain.

In July three reservists died in the Brecon Beacons during a SAS selection training course when temperatures reached 30C.

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 with a slight breeze.








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