'Exceptional' officer dies while off-duty during motorbike trip

BREAKING NEWS British soldier, 32, ‘killed’ in Kenya: ‘Exceptional’ officer dies while off-duty during motorbike trip

  •  Major Kevin McCool, 32, died on 29 November while off-duty in Kenya

An ‘exceptional’ British soldier has been ‘killed’ in Kenya while off-duty on a motorbike trip, the Ministry of Defence has said.

Major Kevin McCool, 32, died on 29 November after allegedly being attacked off-base on a trip.

The soldier, who attended Sandhurst, had served in Europe, the Middle East, the Falklands and Africa, the MoD said. 

He leaves behind his mother and father, Joseph and Joan, his brothers, Fergal and Brendan, his sisters, May, Alice and Margaret.

The MoD said Major McCool’s fitness was legendary, and he “aced” many of the military’s hardest tests, saying his ‘enthusiasm was infectious’.

Major Kevin McCool, 32, died on 29 November after allegedly being attacked off-base on a trip. Pic: MoD

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps paid tribute to the soldier. 

He said: ‘It’s clear from the tributes of those who knew him that Major McCool was an exceptional person and an exceptional soldier, loved and respected in equal measure, who served his country with distinction.

‘My thoughts and sympathies are with his family, friends, and colleagues currently coming to terms with this most tragic loss.’

Maj McCool’s Commanding Officer said: ‘Kevin McCool was living his best life, doing a job he loved, with people he loved. 

‘A man of the utmost integrity, he was fearless and oozed moral courage. I will never forget my final memory of him, which was on operations; he had just come off the ground having slept a handful of hours in as many days. 

‘We discussed the possibility of having to deploy another team into the operational furnace from which he had just come. He stopped me mid-sentence, fixed me with his piercing blue eyes, and simply said, “send me”.

‘A bright light has gone out amongst our ranks. He will be missed, but never forgotten.’

The MoD said in a eulogy: ‘Kevin thrived in the military environment. He was at his best when deployed, and at his very best when the conditions were at their very worst.

‘His fitness was legendary, once beating the whole Battalion on a two miler, as was his endurance.

‘He had a mischievous twinkle in his eye, that made him tremendous fun to be with. 

‘Yet his professionalism and sense of purpose was paramount, and clear to all those lucky enough to serve with him. Whether it was his recruits in his Catterick Platoon or those in his Rifle Company, he had their unwavering loyalty. 

‘Kevin was a big family man, from a big, loving family.’

MoD officials confirmed the soldier’s next of kin have been informed, but said it would not be releasing any details of what happened.

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