Jethro Watson-Pickering: Army names soldier killed after tank overturns during military training exercise

Local MP says training incident must be ‘comprehensively investigated’ after soldier’s death

Conrad Duncan
Monday 18 October 2021 02:16
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<p>Jethro Watson-Pickering  was one of the crew members operating an armoured vehicle that flipped over in Wiltshire on Friday </p>

Jethro Watson-Pickering was one of the crew members operating an armoured vehicle that flipped over in Wiltshire on Friday

A soldier who was killed when a tank overturned during a military training exercise this week has been named by the Army.

Jethro Watson-Pickering, a 23-year-old private, who was in the 1st Yorks Regiment, died after an armoured vehicle that he was in flipped and hit a tree near Enford, Wiltshire, on Friday.

Mr Watson-Pickering was part of a crew that was operating the vehicle at the Salisbury Plain Training Area when the incident occurred.

He was pronounced dead at the scene after it took several hours for emergency services to free those trapped inside due to the presence of live ammunition on board the vehicle.

“We very much regret to announce the death on Friday of Pte Jethro Watson-Pickering, of 1YORKS,” the Yorkshire Regiment said in a statement on Sunday.

“He was from Boosbeck, Redcar and Cleveland and was deployed on exercise on Salisbury Plain.

“The thoughts and prayers of the regimental family are with his family.”

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and other specialist paramedics were quickly called to the incident on Friday, which saw about a dozen police officers in attendance at the height of the response.

On Saturday, a spokesperson for Wiltshire Police said that the force was investigating the circumstances surrounding the soldier's death.

“This is now a joint investigation between Wiltshire Police, the Army and the Health and Safety Executive,” the spokesperson said.

“Our thoughts are with the soldier's family and friends at this difficult time and we would ask that their privacy is respected.”

Meanwhile, Devizes MP Danny Kruger said that he was “very sorry” to hear of the death as he offered his condolences to Mr Watson-Pickering’s family and colleagues.

“While thankfully rare, it is vital that all serious accidents that take place during military training exercises are comprehensively investigated,” Mr Kruger wrote on Facebook.

“We owe so much to the young men and women who risk their lives for our safety and we must do everything we can to keep them safe as well.”

Additional reporting by agencies

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