British soldier Captain Dean Sprouting dies on Iraqi base


A British soldier serving in Iraq has died, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

Capt Dean Sprouting of the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland, was stationed at Al Asad Air Base.

British troops at Al Asad are helping to train Iraqi forces to fight ISIS and also providing protection to the compound. The Black Watch had recently taken over the role from 2 Rifles who handed over all duties last month.

The father of two, who was from Denny, near Falkirk, and joined the army in 1989.

He had served in places including Northern Yugoslavia, Cyprus and Kosovo, Sudan, Angola and Germany.

Lt Col Rob Hedderwick, Commanding Officer, The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, said:

“It is hard to do justice to a man such as Dean Sprouting with simple words. In no time at all he had become an indispensable part of the battalion, not only for his professional expertise but also for his compassionate manner and camaraderie. His intelligence and sharp wit was apparent from the outset; there was an ever-present twinkle in his eye and he would gladly admit that his youth had been full of adventure.

Dean was simply one of those people whose infectious humour and enthusiasm drew others to him. His professional knowledge was second to none and his sage advice already something I had come to rely on. His loss is keenly felt by us all and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children whom I know he cherished more than anything else in this world. I am hugely proud and thankful to have known him. He was a very good man.”

An investigation has begun into the death, which was not caused by enemy fire, the MoD said. No firearms are thought to have been involved and it was not a suicide. Defence sources said it could have been a vehicle accident.