Tributes pour in for 'exceptional' British army officer, 32, who died while off-duty in Kenya

2 December 2023, 12:06

Major Kevin McCool has died aged 32
Major Kevin McCool has died aged 32. Picture: MoD

By Kit Heren

Tributes have come in for an "exceptional" British army officer who has been killed while off-duty in Kenya, aged 32.

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Major Kevin McCool is said to have died on November 29 while on a motorbike trip off-base in Kenya. The Ministry of Defence said it would not be releasing further details, but the Telegraph reported he was attacked.

Maj MacCool gained his commission from Sandhurst in 2014, and had served in Europe, the Middle East, the Falklands and Africa.

Maj MacCool was a "big family man", according to his commanding officer. His next of kin have been informed of his death, the MoD said.

Grant Shapps, the Defence Secretary, paid tribute to Maj McCool and said his death was a "tragic loss".

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Maj McCool had a "glittering operational record" and "aced many of the military's hardest courses," the MoD said.

They said in a statement: "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."

Mr Shapps said: "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."

Maj MacCool's commanding officer 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," the officer said.

"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."