Former head of the Royal Marines took his own life after experiencing 'substantial stress' inquest concludes

31 March 2023, 16:48 | Updated: 31 March 2023, 17:18

The former head of the Royal Marines died by suicide after experiencing what&squot;s been described as "substantial stress" both at home and at work, an inquest has concluded.
The former head of the Royal Marines died by suicide after experiencing what's been described as "substantial stress" both at home and at work, an inquest has concluded. Picture: LBC / Alamy

By Danielle DeWolfe

The former head of the Royal Marines died by suicide after experiencing "substantial stress" both at home and at work, an inquest has concluded.

Major General Matthew Holmes, 54, was discovered in a bedroom at his home in Winchester, Hampshire, on October 2, 2021.

The inquest heard how Major Holmes had recently lost his post as Commandant General within the armed forces and was also facing a marital break-up.

The major had previously served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and Northern Ireland as part of more than three decades worth of service in the British armed forces prior to his death.

The Major's funeral was held at Winchester Cathedral with full military honours.

The Major's funeral was held at Winchester Cathedral with full military honours.
The Major's funeral was held at Winchester Cathedral with full military honours. Picture: LBC / Alamy

Leading 42 Commando Royal Marines from 2006 to 2008, Major Holmes was appointed as a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership duties in Afghanistan during 2007.

The inquest heard how two days before his death, the Major General told one senior colleague "I've got one last bullet to fire".

Maj Gen Holmes' widow, Lea Holmes, gave evidence as part of the inquest.

She described how on one occasion, in September 2021, she found her husband sitting beside a shotgun at the family home.

"I said, 'What do you think you are doing?'," she told the hearing.

"He said something along the lines of, 'My life is not worth living without my family'."

Read more: Gladiators legend Falcon dies aged 59 after battle with cancer

Read more: Man, 27, and woman, 33, released following arrests after double shooting of father and son

The former head of the Royal Marines died by suicide after experiencing what&squot;s been described as "substantial stress" both at home and at work, an inquest has concluded.
The former head of the Royal Marines died by suicide after experiencing what's been described as "substantial stress" both at home and at work, an inquest has concluded. Picture: PA

Voicing concerns about the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the Major General regularly commented to friends on his concerns for the safety of those serving in the Afghan army.

Jonathan Ball, chief executive of the Royal Marines Association, said: "He made some very close personal friends with senior Afghan officers.

"He felt that somehow he had personally failed them by failing to help get them out."

Those feeling distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Breaking
Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion founder Roger Hallam at protest in Westminster

Just Stop Oil founder Roger Hallam jailed for five years over M25 protests

A migrant boat was returned to France

Border Force returns migrant boat to France for first time in history after refugee dies in the Channel

Sir Geoffrey Boycott was first diagnosed with throat cancer in 2002.

Sir Geoffrey Boycott’s family issues health update as England legend undergoes cancer surgery

Liz Colfer says pension taxation misses the mark.

Why pension taxation proposals miss the mark

It follows a sharp rise in the number of abusive messages sent via the bank's app.

Santander bans swear words when sending money after abusers use 1p bank transfers to bypass restraining orders

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reacts after the announcement of the vote at the European Parliament in Strasbourg

Ursula von Der Leyen wins second term as top EU leader

Sir Ed Davey has been criticised for his time as Post Office minister

Ed Davey says sorry for taking five months to meet Alan Bates and says ex-Post Office boss Paula Vennells ‘fed me lies’

The original Bacchus by Giambologna sits in the Bargello museum in Florence

Former Italian cultural minister defends woman who simulated sex with beloved Florence statue

Formal talkjs will begin next week in a bid to end long-running junior doctors strike

Government to begin formal talks with junior doctors to end long-running pay row

Jay Slater and his mum, Debbie Duncan

Jay Slater's mum appeals for funeral donations to give son the 'send-off he deserves'

File photo dated 26/07/23 of Andrew Malkinson. The Criminal Cases Review Commission has offered an 'unreserved apology' for failing Malkinson, who spent 17 years in prison for being wrongly convicted of rape. Issue date: Thursday April 18, 2024.

Wrongly imprisoned Andrew Malkinson 'could have been freed a decade earlier', watchdog finds

Taylor Swift plays to 60,000 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Police arrest suspected Taylor Swift stalker moments before concert kicks off

Pret A Manger has overhauled its coffee subscription plan

Fury as Pret scraps 'too good to be true' £30-a-month coffee subscription in favour of new scheme

Di Prima has been axed from Strictly Come Dancing amid the allegations against him.

Axed Strictly star Graziano Di Prima returns to £6 an hour job amid allegations he 'hit and kicked' dance partner Zara McDermott

British trainee barrister, 26, goes missing in Majorca after flatmate 'threatens to have men sort him out'

British trainee barrister, 26, goes missing in Majorca after flatmate 'threatens to have men sort him out'

The government 'failed its citizens', the Covid Inquiry has found

Government ‘failed its citizens’, Covid Inquiry finds as campaigners say findings are 'no surprise'