Wales

Joshua Hoole: Soldier 'exhausted' in Army march before friend died

Joshua Hoole
Image caption Cpl Hoole joined the Army in April 2008

An "exhausted" soldier was told he was close to death after pulling out of a march moments before his "best mate" collapsed and died, an inquest heard.

Cpl Joshua Hoole, 26, died within an hour of collapsing on a routine physical assessment in Brecon in July 2016.

A Birmingham inquest heard that soldiers were aware it was expected to be "the hottest day of the year".

The march time had been brought forward because of this, the court heard.

Cpl Hoole, of Ecclefechan, near Lockerbie, collapsed 400m from the end of the "eight-miler" loaded march.

Image caption Joshua Hoole was a "brilliant soldier" the inquest heard

Cpl Anasa Matau had pulled out with a suspected heat injury earlier in the route, with soldiers who came across him describing his "eyes rolling back in his head".

"I was running towards water stop four, and that's when it starts to hit me - the heat and exhaustion," Cpl Matau told the inquest.

"My core body was hot, I had salty deposits around my mouth and hands, and I told myself I thought I was dehydrated," he added.

"I'm strong-minded and I told myself I needed to sit down and take my kit off."

He was found to have blood in his urine at hospital in Abergavenny, the inquest heard.

"They just told me 'If you would have continued, you would have died,'" he said.

Cpl Matau described Cpl Hoole as a "best mate" and "brilliant soldier" who was very fit.

Another march soldier, Sgt Daniel Dubose, had to briefly drop back with "bad cramps", but as he caught up, he saw Cpl Hoole collapsing, the inquest heard.

He said Cpl Hoole's skin was grey and his eyes were glazed.

"The heat didn't bother me, it was just my legs," added Sgt Dubose, who was a corporal at the time of the march.

The inquest continues.

Image caption Joshua Hoole served in Afghanistan

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