Soldier found dead in camp after three weeks 09/02/2020

Ah, true. It was funny at some Welsh regiments. Every other man was called Jones. The rest were Owen I think.
When I was with the Royal Welch, no one used surnames, it was always their last two numbers. We took over from the Royal Anglians, who couldn't get their heads round this at all.
 

kimmi851

Old-Salt
A lot has been discussed about the situation, but there was also still a life and a man behind the tragedy. Bernie truly was kind, generous, loyal and possessed a tremendously Irish sense of honour. He loved nothing more than a good debate as long as it stayed friendly (get him on religion and he would talk even a Bishop down within 3 hours, my local vicar made it 2 hours and gave in - and both men were still smiling at the end of it). He loved celebrating with family and friends and would go massively out of his way at times to ensure it happened.

He was very proud when, on here, somebody (I think it was CaptainPlume) wrote that he was a lovely bloke but thick as 2 short planks - it meant a lot to him to be recognised for being nice. His loyalty when he granted it had no limits. He would do whatever it took for those he cared about and respected. He supported me at times when I had lost all feeling of safety and gave me that back. He was perfectly happy on many a 2am ramble in the countryside talking about everything and nothing companionably, though put him in a crowd and his personal magnetism (and good looks) caused some entertaining issues (before he met Beth, obviously), that I was guilty of sitting back and laughing at from the corner.

Everyone who knew him, and I whom I spoke to yesterday said the same thing "I loved him". But no one loved him more than his wife, a truly kind, funny and sweet person who matched him well and tried to not pressure him whilst being there always.
 
A lot has been discussed about the situation, but there was also still a life and a man behind the tragedy. Bernie truly was kind, generous, loyal and possessed a tremendously Irish sense of honour. He loved nothing more than a good debate as long as it stayed friendly (get him on religion and he would talk even a Bishop down within 3 hours, my local vicar made it 2 hours and gave in - and both men were still smiling at the end of it). He loved celebrating with family and friends and would go massively out of his way at times to ensure it happened.

He was very proud when, on here, somebody (I think it was CaptainPlume) wrote that he was a lovely bloke but thick as 2 short planks - it meant a lot to him to be recognised for being nice. His loyalty when he granted it had no limits. He would do whatever it took for those he cared about and respected. He supported me at times when I had lost all feeling of safety and gave me that back. He was perfectly happy on many a 2am ramble in the countryside talking about everything and nothing companionably, though put him in a crowd and his personal magnetism (and good looks) caused some entertaining issues (before he met Beth, obviously), that I was guilty of sitting back and laughing at from the corner.

Everyone who knew him, and I whom I spoke to yesterday said the same thing "I loved him". But no one loved him more than his wife, a truly kind, funny and sweet person who matched him well and tried to not pressure him whilst being there always.
He's an Arrser.
Well.. I'm lost for words.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I'll direct you to the multiple threads on here (and FYB) about treatment whilst living in Blocks. The Army can't do right for wrong: too many checks and you're infantilising them and making life uncomfortable; not enough and suddenly you've got a dead bloke in a room for 3 weeks.
Quite.

My initial reaction to this news was to think that there must have been a massive failure of leadership, but on reflection I'm not sure.

If a bloke is meant to go on a course and his non-arrival isn't flagged up to the sending unit then soldiers can easily fall through the cracks for a while. The only way to prevent that is to have 100% follow up for course no-shows. I suspect that will be the immediate reaction to this incident, and we'll see it gradually dropped over time because it's a massive nause.

Once you've had a bloke fall into the gap between a course and his unit, or two units, the only way to stop something like this ever happening is to go into everyone's room on a weekly basis. As you say, this will be pretty unpopular. It'll also be impossible once everyone is living out under FAM.

While this case is tragic, I'm not sure we're ever going to be in a position where a repeat of the situation is impossible.
 
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Tool

LE
While this case is tragic, I'm not sure we're ever going to be in a position where a repeat of the situation is impossible.
I'm sure no-one on here is naive enough to think "will never happen again". What I and others are trying to establish is whether current rules were missed, or if there is still a gap that this soldier slipped through.
 
It’s not a matter of jurisdiction. The local police will have attended and done what they are lawfully required to do, they will have classified the death appropriately. They will have submitted the initial paperwork to The local Coroner, who will decide whether to have an Inquest.

The follow up paperwork that explains and contextualises the circumstances of the death and what surrounded it, can with no problems be presented to The Inquest by The RMP.
The police will pass the sudden death report to the Coroner's Office. If it's sudden and unexpected the Coroner will request a post mortem. If the cause of death is natural there will be no inquest.
 
I've recently had an equal and opposite case of falling between the cracks.

Young sailor turns up on gangway, carrying all his kit.

"Who are you?" we ask...
"AB Smith" says he...
<check records, he's a week early>
Shrug shoulders, find him a pit and get him turned too. We think he'd been given 'travelling time' by his previous unit, but knowing no better, left them on a Friday and got to us on a Monday.

Stuff happens when people are involved.
 
..............If a bloke is meant to go on a course and his non-arrival isn't flagged up to the sending unit then soldiers can easily fall through the cracks for a while.The only way to prevent that is to have 100% follow up for course no-shows.............................
I would have thought that was SOP. It was on the many crab-air courses I was sent on during my time. One phone call is all it takes to find out if someone has been withdrawn from the course or gone AWOL.
 

craven50

Old-Salt
The police will pass the sudden death report to the Coroner's Office. If it's sudden and unexpected the Coroner will request a post mortem. If the cause of death is natural there will be no inquest.
Sounds rather vague that! How would they know it was natural causes? Without a PM.
A PM in England takes place unless an individual is under medical supervision in certain time period.
 
They misspelled my name once, Sig Grey was supposed to be on guard duty apparently, unlike Sig Gray who was watching the Mission in PC69 in Bielefeld having stayed at a female friends flat the night before and that night. On OC's orders I denied not reading orders and pointed out that Grey was not my name.
I got a beasting round the camp from the SSM but other than that there was nothing they could do to me, and we both knew it.
Ha Ha! During my phase 2 at 8 SIGREGT, I was on a 24 hour Saturday guard duty. Not much fun, I grant. But one of my mates was determined this day to get stick-man. I knew I wouldn't get it. So long as my kit was good enough not to get picked up for, that will do me.

For the younger ARRSERs,I don't know if stick-man still goes on. This was the only unit I ever stagged on at who did this. The best turned out man was allowed to knock off, back to the block and change into civvies. He had to report to the SONCO and let him know what room he lived in, and if he had gone to the NAAFI, or whatever. He was not allowed to leave camp, have a beer, and had to be available if any emergency cropped up. But he got a proper nights sleep, with no stagging on at stupid-o-clock, freezing by the barrier.

So, my room-mate spent the whole of the Friday night bulling and pressing his kit. In the morning, he was up applying finishing touches to his toecaps. With his combats pressed to well they could stand up on their own, he turned up at the guardroom, bright eyed and bushy-tailed with the rest of us.

As we paraded in the courtyard, we noticed the rank from our squadron was a man short. "Anyone seen Sig Wilson?"

Sig Wilson never arrived. So, we never got a stick man. My mate spent the next few hours whingeing to anyone who would listen.

It turned out that there were two Sig Wilsons, and the clerk had not added the last 3 to whoever was meant to be on duty. AFAIK there was no action taken. My mate is probably still whingeing now.
 

Just_plain_you

War Hero
Ha Ha! During my phase 2 at 8 SIGREGT, I was on a 24 hour Saturday guard duty. Not much fun, I grant. But one of my mates was determined this day to get stick-man. I knew I wouldn't get it. So long as my kit was good enough not to get picked up for, that will do me.

For the younger ARRSERs,I don't know if stick-man still goes on. This was the only unit I ever stagged on at who did this. The best turned out man was allowed to knock off, back to the block and change into civvies. He had to report to the SONCO and let him know what room he lived in, and if he had gone to the NAAFI, or whatever. He was not allowed to leave camp, have a beer, and had to be available if any emergency cropped up. But he got a proper nights sleep, with no stagging on at stupid-o-clock, freezing by the barrier.

So, my room-mate spent the whole of the Friday night bulling and pressing his kit. In the morning, he was up applying finishing touches to his toecaps. With his combats pressed to well they could stand up on their own, he turned up at the guardroom, bright eyed and bushy-tailed with the rest of us.

As we paraded in the courtyard, we noticed the rank from our squadron was a man short. "Anyone seen Sig Wilson?"

Sig Wilson never arrived. So, we never got a stick man. My mate spent the next few hours whingeing to anyone who would listen.

It turned out that there were two Sig Wilsons, and the clerk had not added the last 3 to whoever was meant to be on duty. AFAIK there was no action taken. My mate is probably still whingeing now.
Cool story bro
 
A tragedy... Whatever happened to Unit/Bn Standing Orders detailing responsibilities and duties of care? Nightly bed checks by the Company Orderly Sergeant... to ensure against fire, drunk soldiers drowning in their own vomit, etc. Weekly accommodation checks by the CQMS and his storeman? Daily checks by the Platoon Sergeant to ensure basic standards of hygiene/ catching skiving b******s? Weekly 'walk arounds' by the CSM and OC? Never mind 'out processing' - getting a chit signed by the Arms Kote Storman, CQMS and presenting it to the CSM - a quick exit interview by the OC?

Seems to me the current CoC is more worried about offending minorities/not appearing Woke/PC transgressing imaginary human rights - than ensuring their soldiers are fit, well, living in a clean, safe, environment, etc.

Inspections/bed checks were conducted for a reason... if you don't inspect... don't expect.
Time to inject common sense... and a modicum of structure.
I'm betting the weapons of the unfortunate deceased's unit are in bad order..... and the feet of their soldiers too.....
 
A tragedy... Whatever happened to Unit/Bn Standing Orders detailing responsibilities and duties of care? Nightly bed checks by the Company Orderly Sergeant... to ensure against fire, drunk soldiers drowning in their own vomit, etc. Weekly accommodation checks by the CQMS and his storeman? Daily checks by the Platoon Sergeant to ensure basic standards of hygiene/ catching skiving b******s? Weekly 'walk arounds' by the CSM and OC? Never mind 'out processing' - getting a chit signed by the Arms Kote Storman, CQMS and presenting it to the CSM - a quick exit interview by the OC?

Seems to me the current CoC is more worried about offending minorities/not appearing Woke/PC transgressing imaginary human rights - than ensuring their soldiers are fit, well, living in a clean, safe, environment, etc.

Inspections/bed checks were conducted for a reason... if you don't inspect... don't expect.
Time to inject common sense... and a modicum of structure.
I'm betting the weapons of the unfortunate deceased's unit are in bad order..... and the feet of their soldiers too.....
Yeah, we don’t have national service anymore and all of that crap ended when we got rid of puttees.




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On a day to day basis, the majority of soldiers will have a routine and it would be noticed by somebody if they disappeared for a few weeks. It could be a mate or an NCO with responsibility for the individual who would have noticed an absence.

there are in my experience occasional exceptions to the rule though and if someone disappears off the map, it can pass unnoticed.

I did a three week driving cadre in Cyprus in 1976. The army didn’t know it but I had taken several private driving lessons while I was on leave prior to going to Cyprus. Basically, a mate at home had put me on his car insurance and I had driven it around while I was on the three weeks leave.

A few months later, I began the three week cadre in Cyprus which started on a Monday and the examiner impressed with my rapid learning skills put me forward for my driving test on the Thursday of the first week. I passed the test so on the face of it, after three days instruction, I passed the test on the fourth day. Those three weeks driving my mates car on leave had obviously helped a lot!

I had a problem though. I was at RAF Akrotiri on the North coast and my unit was attached to the United Nations in some obscure location about an hours drive from Nicosia in the demilitarised zone in the middle of Cyprus. My arranged transportation back to my unit wouldn’t be happening for over another two weeks.

The solution was from my point of view quite a simple one. I had an impromptu two week holiday during the day sunning myself around the pool on the base, working out on the multi gym or hitting the beaches and in the evenings propping up the bar in the NAAFI or acquainting myself with heroes square in Limassol.

basically, I dropped off the radar for two weeks and of course because of the circumstances, nobody noticed. My unit thought I was working hard on the cadre learning to drive and the two instructors on the cadre, both of them Greenjackets, were more interested in getting the other guys through their driving tests rather than how I was going back to work.

There will be lots of instances where similar things happen to people and they become disappeared in some way off the radar and of course, people always turn up fit and well.

This tragic event is a terrible exception.
 
My mate newly posted in from the SEE factory had a 2 week spell in each department. Recky Mechs, Stores etc.
He started his two weeks in the servicing bay to find it was closed for two weeks.
He went home and got pissed for 10 days before anyone realised.
He recieved 2 extras, WONCO, he got pissed on them as well. WONCO coke?
RIP 'Doctor Proctor'
 
Yeah, we don’t have national service anymore and all of that crap ended when we got rid of puttees.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Aye... and soldiers weren't found dead in barracks after they'd been there a month either.
Though what 'crap?' Fire inspections? Accommodation inventory inspections? Hygiene inspections?
Processing individual soldiers out of a unit? Seems to me pretty basic.... without which everything turns to... crap - as it appears to have done in the case of the deceased's unit.
Seems to me the British Army needs a severe beasting from the top down..!
 
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par avion

War Hero
On a day to day basis, the majority of soldiers will have a routine and it would be noticed by somebody if they disappeared for a few weeks. It could be a mate or an NCO with responsibility for the individual who would have noticed an absence.

there are in my experience occasional exceptions to the rule though and if someone disappears off the map, it can pass unnoticed.

I did a three week driving cadre in Cyprus in 1976. The army didn’t know it but I had taken several private driving lessons while I was on leave prior to going to Cyprus. Basically, a mate at home had put me on his car insurance and I had driven it around while I was on the three weeks leave.

A few months later, I began the three week cadre in Cyprus which started on a Monday and the examiner impressed with my rapid learning skills put me forward for my driving test on the Thursday of the first week. I passed the test so on the face of it, after three days instruction, I passed the test on the fourth day. Those three weeks driving my mates car on leave had obviously helped a lot!

I had a problem though. I was at RAF Akrotiri on the North coast and my unit was attached to the United Nations in some obscure location about an hours drive from Nicosia in the demilitarised zone in the middle of Cyprus. My arranged transportation back to my unit wouldn’t be happening for over another two weeks.

The solution was from my point of view quite a simple one. I had an impromptu two week holiday during the day sunning myself around the pool on the base, working out on the multi gym or hitting the beaches and in the evenings propping up the bar in the NAAFI or acquainting myself with heroes square in Limassol.

basically, I dropped off the radar for two weeks and of course because of the circumstances, nobody noticed. My unit thought I was working hard on the cadre learning to drive and the two instructors on the cadre, both of them Greenjackets, were more interested in getting the other guys through their driving tests rather than how I was going back to work.

There will be lots of instances where similar things happen to people and they become disappeared in some way off the radar and of course, people always turn up fit and well.

This tragic event is a terrible exception.
I suppose it was because you were still on the driving course and everyone would have known where to find you.
 
I think that the Army has decided to treat soldiers like adults, not children. 99% of the time that works - just like in the real world.
Really? Not working is it? Recruiting and retention sucks..... Duty of care wasn't treating soldiers like children it was designed to ensure against system failure.... you know.... to prevent incidents of the kind which led to a soldier lying dead in a barrack room for a month before being discovered.
You think the late Millennial/Post-Millennial (Snowflake) generations more independent, more mature, physically and mentally more robust than previous generations? I think that's the arrogance of youth talking!
 
I think that the Army has decided to treat soldiers like adults, not children. 99% of the time that works - just like in the real world.
I'd like to think so too but it's probably because so many people are wearing so many hats (stand down the Para's) there's no longer time to do all the basic sh1te we used to have to do, something had to go!
 

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