Soldiers’ fury in death barracks as Army accused of lack of duty of care


A “pandemic of suicide” exists at one of the Army’s largest military barracks, according to soldiers inside the base.

The disclosure comes after two soldiers at Catterick Garrison in Yorkshire, where the 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 Scots) is based, were found dead within 48 hours of each other last weekend.

Nicholas Hart, 33, an Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran with 4 Scots, was found dead in his room.

Nicholas Hart, 33, an Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran with 4 Scots, was found dead in his room
Nicholas Hart, 33, an Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran with 4 Scots, was found dead in his room

The body of Private Thamir Mbarushimana, 18, was found by railway tracks in Manchester.

Up to eight have now died since 2018 at Catterick including Selkirk’s Alistair McLeish, 18, Pte Reece Miller, 29, and Trp Ben Healey, 20.

Alistair’s mother Karen told the inquest into his death: “He appeared to love the Army.”

Alistair's mother Karen told the inquest into his death: “He appeared to love the Army
Alistair’s mother Karen told the inquest into his death: “He appeared to love the Army”

Twice as many soldiers are believed to have taken their own lives at the base since 2018 than died in seven years at Deepcut, which was the subject of inquests.

The latest deaths led to a series of WhatsApp messages between soldiers. They were revealed by the wife of a serving soldier who said she was sickened.

One message read: “Suicide Pandemic in this camp. Clearly not enough being done or cries for help falling on deaf ears.”

The partner of one soldier said: “The camp is a complete shambles. There is no duty of care and you can see from the messages that the chain of command just pays lip service to mental health issues.

“My husband says many of the younger soldiers sit around on their beds and are bored stiff during the day and get drunk at night. There needs to be an investigation.”

Soldiers from 4 Scots learned of the death of their colleague in a message posted online to members of the battalion.

It read: “If anyone needs to talk things through or find helpful information about dealing with negative or intrusive thoughts, please get in touch via the numbers below.”

Catterick Garrison was where LCpl Bernie Mongan, 33, lay dead in his own room for three weeks in January 2020.

He had been the victim of bullying and an Army investigation found he had been failed by the chain of command.

Bethany Grace, Bernie’s ex-wife, asked: “How many soldiers need to die before the Ministry of Defense starts to treat mental health with the importance it deserves?”

Last night, the Army revealed that Hart, a regimental recruiter, was recently baptized.

It added: “He took to the job with ease, and recruiting in the farthest reaches of Scotland he found that his thick Welsh accent proved to be an asset.”

The MoD said: “It is with great sadness we can confirm the death of Highlander Nicholas Hart in Catterick on February 5 and Pte Thamir Mbarushimana in Manchester on February 6. Our thoughts are with their family and friends at this difficult time.”

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www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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