Tragedy as Wigan soldier's boyfriend dies weeks after her body was found

A soldier has died just weeks after the body of his Wigan girlfriend was found at her army base.
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The death of Gunner Sophie Madden was discovered by Kent police at Overhill Training Centre, in St Martin's Plain, near Folkestone, on June 10.

An inquest heard the 23-year-old was found hanged in the barracks and a funeral was held in Up Holland with full military honours, uniformed bearers and a firing party.

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Bombardier Ross BurnsideBombardier Ross Burnside
Bombardier Ross Burnside
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Tragically, it has now been announced that her boyfriend Bombardier Ross Burnside, from Sheffield, was found dead just weeks later.

In a statement, the 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery said: “It is with deep sadness that 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery announces the death of Bombardier Ross Burnside on 19 July 2022.

"An experienced soldier, Bombardier Burnside had served in 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery and had recently joined 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery. He will leave behind a legacy through those he inspired, led and deployed alongside. Gone, but not forgotten, he will be missed by the Regiment and wider Gunner family.

"Our sincere condolences are with Bombardier Burnside’s family and friends.”

Sophie MaddenSophie Madden
Sophie Madden
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In a tribute on Facebook, his mother Sheila Burnside wrote: “My kind, generous, funny, loud, loving son.

“There are no words to say how much I will miss you my darling boy. You left us far too soon. Forever in my heart, always in my thoughts. Sleep peacefully son.”

Sarah Burnside said: “Great man, a great son, a great brother, a great uncle. You will be missed by everyone who knew you. Always in our hearts. Rest in peace.”

Natasha Madden wrote: “Rest easy Ross you will forever be missed by everyone.

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“I know you and Soph will be looking after each other. Was such a pleasure having you a part of our family you can now rest at peace.”

Sue Shaw said: “Ross I hope you've found your peace now back with Sophie. Glad to have known you even if it was for a short time you and Sophie both made me laugh xx”

Alycia Madden said: “R.I.P Ross, hope you’ve found your peace, was a honour having you part of our family! And my thoughts go out to your own family.”

Dale Daley said: “Had the privilege to work with him in 7, cracking lad. RIP Burnside.”

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Chris Shears said: “A sad day for the Gunners, his family and all those that knew him. End Of Mission.”

An inquest looking at Gunner Madden’s death was opened in Maidstone after police earlier announced there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the tragedy.

It heard she was born in Wigan and was based at Albemarle Barracks, in Stamfordham, Northumberland, serving with the 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery.

After Gunner Madden’s death, her regiment said: “Gunner Madden was a highly valued member of D Battery RHA.

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"Her resilience and professionalism were an example to us all, and will live on as her legacy here and across the Gunner family.

"Our thoughts are with her family and ask that they are given space at this difficult time.”

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