Major Kevin McCool: 'Selfless' British soldier who 'oozed moral courage' dies in Kenya while off duty

A "selfless" British soldier, Major Kevin McCool, died while off duty in Kenya - with defence secretary Grant Shapps leading tributes
A "selfless" British soldier, Major Kevin McCool, died while off duty in Kenya - with defence secretary Grant Shapps leading tributes. (Photo: Ministry of Defence/PA Wire)A "selfless" British soldier, Major Kevin McCool, died while off duty in Kenya - with defence secretary Grant Shapps leading tributes. (Photo: Ministry of Defence/PA Wire)
A "selfless" British soldier, Major Kevin McCool, died while off duty in Kenya - with defence secretary Grant Shapps leading tributes. (Photo: Ministry of Defence/PA Wire)

A British soldier has died while off duty in Kenya, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said. Major Kevin McCool died on 29 November and has been described as “intelligent, pro-active and selfless”.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps led tributes to Maj McCool describing the death as a "tragic loss". MoD officials have confirmed that the soldier’s next of kin have been informed but said it would not be releasing any details of what happened.

Shapps added: "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." He was commissioned from Sandhurst in August 2014 and was deployed in Europe, the Middle East, the Falklands and Africa.

A "selfless" British soldier, Major Kevin McCool, died while off duty in Kenya - with defence secretary Grant Shapps leading tributes. (Photo: Ministry of Defence/PA Wire).A "selfless" British soldier, Major Kevin McCool, died while off duty in Kenya - with defence secretary Grant Shapps leading tributes. (Photo: Ministry of Defence/PA Wire).
A "selfless" British soldier, Major Kevin McCool, died while off duty in Kenya - with defence secretary Grant Shapps leading tributes. (Photo: Ministry of Defence/PA Wire).

Maj McCool’s Commanding Officer said he was “living his best life, doing a job he loved, with people he loved” and he was a “man of the utmost integrity, fearless and oozed moral courage.” He added: “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. 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”.

The MoD said Maj McCool who came from a “big, loving family” is "survived by his mother and father, Joseph and Joan, his brothers, Fergal and Brendan, his sisters, May, Alice and Margaret.” His Officer Commanding said Maj McCool “had a compelling character and easy charm that all who met him warmed to” and “and as a man, he had a deep humility which displayed a wisdom beyond his years.”

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