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Tributes pour in for Catterick soldier Josh Hoole

Josh Hoole who died on exercise in Brecon Photo: PA / Facebook

Tributes are pouring in for Catterick soldier Josh Hoole who died on a training exercise in Wales.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said the 26-year-old, who was a member of the Rifles regiment, was taking part in a basic combat fitness, which they said was a "standard minimum requirement test which everyone on the training must achieve."

The spokesman said the test consisted of an eight-mile march wearing boots, carrying webbing, a burgen and rifle with a combined weight of 25kg.

The march started at 7am at Dering Lines - along roads around in Brecon. The were no hills on the route.

The march was two hours and after returning to Dering Lines the soldier collapsed and an ambulance was called.

His grandfather, John Craig, said: "He was a beautiful grandson."He was a dedicated soldier. He always wanted to be top dog. He was a superfit boy, he kept very fit."

Corporal Hoole, who was based at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick, and was from Ecclefechan near Lockerbie in Scotland, had done two tours of Afghanistan and been to Iraq.

Mr Craig added: "He visited me regularly, every chance he got. I took a bottle of whisky to him on the 12th of July for his 26th birthday."

Writing on Facebook, stepmum Carol Jeffreys said: "Rest easy soldier. "My beautiful stepson. Can't believe it. Will always love you. So very proud of you. Thoughts with your family and fiancee."

Defence Minister Mike Penning also paid tribute.

It is with great sadness that I can confirm that an infantry soldier has died in Brecon while conducting pre-course training before attending the Platoon Sergeants’ Battle Course. The safety of our personnel is our absolute priority and, while deaths in training are rare, any death is a tragedy. As well as a police investigation, a Service Inquiry will take place. My thoughts and prayers are with the soldier’s family, friends, and colleagues at this difficult time.”

– Defence Minister Mike Penning said:

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