Private Thamir Mbarushimana was found dead on railway tracks in his hometown in south Manchester, on February 6 – he was based at the Infantry Training Center at the British Army’s Catterick Garrison near Richmond, North Yorks.
Image: MEN Media)
A teenage army recruit was found dead on a train track as soldiers fear a “suicide pandemic” may be happening following a series of deaths at the same camp.
Private Thamir Mbarushimana, 18, was found dead on railway tracks in his hometown in south Manchester, on February 6.
The teen was based at the Infantry Training Center at the British Army’s Catterick Garrison near Richmond, North Yorks., Manchester Evening News reports.
It is understood he had only been training for a few weeks and was visiting his family home in Wythenshawe at the time of his death.
Police and paramedics raced to a stretch of the railway line at 4.17pm following reports of a “casualty on the tracks”.
Tragically, Pte Mbarushimana was pronounced dead at the scene.
A British Transport Police spokesman said Pte Mbarushimana’s death was not being treated as suspicious and files were being prepared for a coroner.
Pte Mbarushimana was a former pupil at Manchester Health Academy.
His grieving family said he was proud of his accomplishments in becoming a soldier – a pride they shared.
In a statement, Thamir’s family said: “We thank all those who are providing love, support and understanding for our family at this time.
“Thamir was a wonderful man who we will all sorely miss. He was caring, generous and loving.
“I have touched the lives of many and will forever remain in our memories.
“Thamir was proud of his accomplishments in becoming a soldier in the Army and we shared in this pride as a family.
“We would like to thank the British Army for their support over the last week.
“We request that our family are left to grieve in privacy and will not be commenting any further at this time.”
Pals are rallying around the family have set up a GoFundMe appeal.
They described Thamir as an “aspiring soldier who didn’t get to live out his potential in the Army”- and said he had a “heart of gold”.
It comes as soldiers fear there is a “pandemic of suicide” at Catterick Garrison – which is the largest Army base in Britain and home to more than 13,000 personnel.
Pte Mbarushimana was one of two men from the base to die on the same day.
Highlander Nicholas Hart, 33, an Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran serving with the fourth battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, was discovered in his room. A cause of death has not been officially confirmed.
Eight Catterick-based soldiers have died suddenly or by suicide since 2018.
They include victim Lance Cpl Bernie Mongan, 33, who lay dead inside his room for almost three weeks before being found.
The latest deaths led to a series of WhatsApp messages, which were passed to the Sunday Mirror by the worried wife of one soldier.
One read: “Suicide Pandemic in this camp. Clearly not enough being done or cries for help falling on deaf ears.”
An Army spokesperson said: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm the death of Private Thamir Mbarushimana in Manchester on February 6.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”
An inquest into Thamir’s death will be held on a date yet to be fixed.
The Mirror contacted the Army for a statement.
If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or visit their site to find your local branch