Soldier dies weeks after girlfriend, 23 found hanged at army barracks

A young soldier was found dead just weeks after his Army girlfriend, 23, was found hanged in her barracks in a suspected suicide.

On June 10, Gunner Sophie Madden's body was discovered at Overhill Training Centre near Folkestone, Kent.

Just weeks later on July 19, the body of her boyfriend Bombardier Ross Burnside, who was in his 20s, was also discovered, although the details of how he came to die have not been disclosed.

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Ross' body was found in his home town of Rotherham, North Yorkshire and police say inquiries into his death are ongoing.

He had previously served in a parachute regiment but had since moved to the 1st Regiment of the Royal Horse Artillery.

A spokesman for his regiment said: "It is with sadness that we can confirm the death of Bombardier Ross Burnside on July 19, 2022.

"An experienced soldier, Bombardier Burnside had served in 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery and had recently joined 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery."

Veterans’ campaigners have since said urgent questions must be asked about what support heartbroken Bombardier Ross Burnside had received.

A military source told The Mirror: “Ross was clearly in a very vulnerable position.”

Campaign group Veterans Against Suicide called the deaths “preventable tragedies.

Meanwhile, a relative of Sophie posted tributes to the lost couple, writing: “Rest easy Ross you will forever be missed by everyone.

“I know you and Soph will be looking after each other.”

An Army spokesman said: “It is with sadness that we can confirm the death of Bombardier Ross Burnside.

“Our thoughts are with Bdr Burnside’s family and friends at this sad time.”

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.


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