Suffolk-based soldier who died in heatwave described as 'selfless and kind-hearted' by MoD

The Ministry of Defence says Sapper Connor Morrison of 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment died during a “non-operational incident”.
Sapper Connor Morrison, 20, died in July. Credit: Ministry of Defence

A soldier who died during the week of a record-breaking heatwave has been described as "selfless and kind-hearted" by the Ministry of Defence.

Sapper Connor Morrison, who was stationed at Woodbridge in Suffolk, died two days after he collapsed on 21 July.

The 20-year-old, of 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment, was taken to Ipswich Hospital by ambulance, after he was reported to have suffered breathing difficulties at Rock Barracks in Sutton Heath, Suffolk.

Following an investigation, the MoD said the death was a "non-operational incident".

At the time, the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust said it was called to "reports of a man with breathing problems", and Suffolk Police said it received a report from the ambulance service that "a male had collapsed".

Two days earlier, on 19 July, a new UK record high temperature of 40.3C was recorded in Coningsby, Lincolnshire.

The Defence Safety Authority, Suffolk Police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation into his death in August.

Lt Col Jack Crossley, commanding officer of 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment, paid tribute, describing Sapper Morrison as a “professional soldier with much promise".

He said: “Keen and enthusiastic, he worked hard to achieve his goals at every stage of his training and impressed his instructors with his knowledge and skills.

"More importantly, he was a loyal friend and a genuine team player."

He added: "Sapper Morrison was a truly selfless and kind-hearted professional soldier who made friends wherever he went.

"He proved himself to be a proud and loyal member of the Corps of Royal Engineers and will always be part of the Sapper family.

"Sapper Morrison will be sorely missed by the regiment and all those he served alongside. We will remember him."

James Heappey, minister for the Armed Forces, said: "It's clear from his colleagues that he had a passion for the British Army, made an instant positive impact on all those he served with, and always put the needs of his fellow soldiers above his own; a role model to all.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones at this terrible time."

An inquest into Sapper Morrison's death is due to be held at a later date.

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