Michael Ihemere: Tributes paid to ‘talented’ soldier who died on Yorkshire Dales training run

Army will investigate if Private Michael Ihemere had a pre-existing medical condition

Tributes have been paid to a soldier who collapsed and died on a training run across the North Yorkshire moors a day after celebrating his 26th birthday.

Private Michael Ihemere, from Nigeria, was taking part in a three-mile run across rugged terrain on Barden Moor, near Leyburn, on the sprawling Catterick Garrison training area.

He had joined the British Army in November 2011 and served with the 1st Battalion, The Mercian Regiment.

When he collapsed, fellow soldiers from the battalion’s C Company called paramedics but he was declared dead at the scene, overlooking the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Pte Ihemere had served a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan and returned from the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province in April.

His widow, Blessing, attended a memorial parade in his honour at Marne Barracks in Catterick.

His death came less than two months after three Territorial Army reservists – Craig Roberts, 24, and James Dunsby and Edward Maher, both 31 – collapsed and died during a gruelling SAS selection test in the Brecon Beacons on one of the hottest days of the year. Witnesses described seeing the men “clearly in distress” and asking for water on Pen y Fan.

However, conditions on the Dales were much cooler on Wednesday – about 17C – and an Army source said heat was not currently considered a factor in Pte Ihemere’s death.

Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Ellwood paid tribute to a “reliable, talented and popular soldier”. He said: “His likeable and kind nature immediately endeared him to those he worked with.

“While on operations, he was involved in some fierce fighting but always remained calm, did his job well and supported his friends and colleagues with resolute loyalty.”

He said that Pte Ihemere had shown the potential to progress in the Army and had had a bright future. “His loss will be keenly felt across the battalion and the thoughts, prayers and sympathies of all those that had the pleasure to know Pte Ihemere are with his wife and family at this difficult time,” he said.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances and officers were “working with the Army to establish the full circumstances surrounding the death so that a file can be prepared on behalf of the coroner”.

The police and the Army’s Land Accidents Investigation Team will look at whether the soldier had a “pre-existing medical condition”. It is understood the soldiers were running under “individual effort” and were not being “pushed” by commanders. It was not clear whether Pte Ihemere was carrying a heavy load on the exercise.

Many troops of the Mercian Regiment live in barracks at Catterick, which is the Army’s largest base and has a 20,000-acre training area. It is home to the School of Infantry and the Infantry Training Centre, where phase one and two training is conducted for every British infantry soldier.

Many of the light infantry unit’s members come  from Cheshire and The Wirral.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'