‘Legendary’ British soldier killed after being attacked in ‘tragic loss’

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced the death of a British soldier, Major Kevin McCool, who was off duty in Kenya at the time of the incident.

Major McCool was on a motorcycle trip away from the base when he was attacked.

The MoD has notified the soldier’s next of kin, while refraining from disclosing specific details of the incident.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps expressed condolences and lamented Major McCool’s passing as a “tragic loss”.

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

The MoD said in a eulogy: “As well as a glittering operational record, he also aced many of the military’s hardest courses.

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

“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.”

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His commanding officer also paid tribute. He said: “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.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer said Major McCool’s service “will not be forgotten”.

He posted on X: “My heart goes out to Maj McCool’s family, friends, and fellow soldiers today in the face of their tragic loss.

“The tributes pouring out for him show a man who served his country with pride, integrity and bravery.

“His service will not be forgotten.”

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