'Third soldier dies after part of SAS selection test'


Verified Military
Verified Military
Sep 15, 2011


The soldiers were taking part in a physical exercise in the Brecon Beacons, Powys, Mid Wales, where the Army carries out infantry training and selection for the SAS.

Edward John Maher and Lance Corporal Craig John Roberts died after they collapsed during the exercise, as temperatures hit 30C.

The third Territorial Army soldier had been in a critical condition and on life support since falling ill during the same exercise on July 13, after climbing south Wales' highest mountain.

The third man, who has not yet been named, was first treated at Merthyr Tydfil hospital in south Wales before being transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where he died on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the MoD said: "It is with great sadness that we can confirm that a third army reserve soldier injured during a training exercise in the Brecon Beacons has died of his injuries.”

The family asked “for a period of grace” before the soldier is named.

L/Cpl Roberts, 24, of Penrhyn Bay, died during the timed march across the Brecon Beacons, while scaling Pen Y Fan. Four other soldiers had collapsed on different parts of the mountain, including Mr Maher, 31 – a Territorial Army Reservist who had served in Iraq.

He was taken to Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil but died three hours later.

Witnesses on the day said they saw two soldiers "clearly in distress" who pleaded with them for some drinking water.

The soldiers collapsed at the start of a week–long selection test for a place in a reserve unit of the elite special forces regiment. Defence sources said the hike involved marching against the clock from checkpoint to checkpoint while carrying a rifle and heavy pack.

Special forces insiders said candidates often pushed themselves to breaking point in a bid to try and join the regiment.

In the aftermath of the deaths, investigations have been launched by both the police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

At an inquest earlier this month into the deaths of L/Cpl Roberts and Mr Maher, Louise Hunt, the Powys coroner, suggested the MOD may face legal action over the deaths.

She said article two of the Human Rights Act, which guarantees a right to life, would be an important part of the inquest.

The inquests were adjourned until September 3.

As well as taking part in the inquest, the families of the dead men could choose to take legal action.

SAS selection can involve candidates marching 15 miles, carrying a rifle and more than 50lb. Sources said the soldiers were taken ill close to Pen y Fan, which is the site of several arduous test marches, including the infamous Fan dance, a 15-mile slog up and down the peak.

Candidates are not accompanied by military instructors and must find their own way through checkpoints.
Shitty to hear someone died in the pursuit of bettering themselves and trying to advance their careers.

Rest In Peace.
Very sad, more so when you understand that standards will be wattered down by some civilian conducting a "Human Rights" inquest.
That's the cost of realistic training.

RIP, carry on, don't mess with the current standards.