Tributes paid to former head of Royal Marines as death under investigation | UK News

Tributes paid to former head of Royal Marines as death under investigation | UK News

The previous head of the Royal Marines has “tragically” died in circumstances that are being investigated, the Ministry of Defence and his colleagues said on Sunday.

Major General Matthew Holmes, who was still a serving officer, was described by the First Sea Lord as a “close friend”.

He died on Saturday. “He will be sorely missed by the service and especially the corps family,” Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said.

“But my thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy are with Matt’s family. Their loss is the greatest and most painful: we will be there for them now and always.”

Lieutenant General Rob Magowan, the current head of the Royal Marines, said his former colleague and friend “tragically died at the weekend”.

He said: “My heart goes out to him and his family. We will honour him and all those closest to him. But I also think of you all. It matters not that he was a general, but it does that he is a Royal Marine.

“I remember and celebrate him, alongside all those who he is with now. We are one family, together, just as we learned, and as we trained, alongside each other at the Commando Training Centre. Once a marine, always a marine.”

Major General Holmes served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and Northern Ireland for more than three decades in the armed forces.

He commanded 42 Commando Royal Marines from 2006 to 2008 and was appointed as a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership on operations in Afghanistan in 2007.

From 2019 to 2021 he was Commandant General Royal Marines and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2019

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