Australian Army solider (AAP)
THE THIRD solider to die following a SAS selection test in mid-Wales has been named as Corporal James Dunsby, a reservist who served with the Australian Army.
The Military of Defence analyst collapsed during a gruelling exercise for special forces selection in the Brecon Beacons region on 13 July.
The 31-year-old died in hospital on Tuesday, having been in a critical condition since falling ill during the time trial march on south Wales’ highest mountain. Two fellow soldiers, Edward John Maher and Lance Corporal Craig John Roberts, died on the day.
The soldiers collapsed at the start of a week-long selection test, during one of the hottest day of the year with temperatures reaching 30C. Soldiers were required to march from checkpoint to checkpoint while carrying a rifle and heavy pack.
Witnesses recalled seeing two soldiers “clearly in distress” who pleaded with them for some drinking water.
The Telegraph have reported Cpl Dunsy spent time in Australia, studying history and political science at the University of Tasmania. He served as a non-commissioned officer in the Australian Army for several years.
Cpl Dusby had been a reservist for the British Army for nearly eight years, and completed a tour in Afghanistan, before taking part in the march earlier this month.
A statement from his family issued through the Ministry of Defence paid tribute to a devoted solider and loving family member.
“He was the most loving and dependable husband, not to mention the most handsome of men of whom could not be more cherished.
“James was and will remain a dearly loved, son, brother and husband. He had the uniquely wonderful ability to endear, enchant and captivate all who he met with his naughty sense of humour and highly intelligent wit.
“With James as your friend you were ensured loyalty, strength, allegiance, protection and most of all a damn good laugh. James adored the Army and believed so passionately in his duty as a protector of Queen and country and of the realm.
“James was so dearly loved by so many and will be sorely missed. Hurrah and Huzzah for James Dunsby; a greater man you could not meet.”
London Legacy, a not-for-profit which supports the families of Australian servicemen and women, have expressed their condolences to Cpl Dunsby’s family.
“London Legacy will do all in its power to support James’s wife and family in there terrible loss,” said London Legacy President, Lindsay Birrell
Investigations have been launched by both the police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the aftermath of the soldiers death.