Family of Deepcut soldier call for new probe into death

James Collinson died from a single gunshot at the barracks in Deepcut in 2002

THE mother of a soldier who died at Deepcut army barracks is calling for a new public inquiry as the 10th anniversary of his death approaches.

Yvonne Heath, mother of Private James Collinson who was only 17 when he was found dead in theSurreybarracks, is demanding answers over her son’s death.

Three other soldiers died in the barracks between 1995 and 2002. An official report concluded that three of the four, including Pte Collinson, had probably killed themselves, but the families reject this.

Ms Heath hopes the ten year anniversary of the tragedy will renew pressure on the army to re-open the investigation.

There have been allegations of widespread bullying at the barracks.

Pte Collinson was on guard duty in March 2002 when he died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

Ms Heath, from Perth, said: “We’ll always be looking for answers until such time as we actually get them but sometimes we don’t know where there is left to look.

“Ten years on, somebody not in a position to speak out at the time may be able to do so now.


“I would just urge them, if they have something to tell us, come forward now because until we get to the bottom of what happened, we will never be able to rest.

“I was listening to a mother tell her story about her daughter’s murder 26 years ago and someone has been convicted for that so it shows it’s never too late.

“We don’t have the public support we used to and because it’s not news anymore and it’s only us that have it in our minds. Maybe the 10th anniversary will stir some things up.

“Our legal team are still working away in the background on our behalf to see what avenues we can go down legally but we don’t know what route that will take yet.

“Ultimately, we want to achieve a public inquiry but how we get there in the end is the big question.”

Ms Heath split with James’ father before the death of her son, but the pair have campaigned together for more information into his death.

A report into the deaths of James as well as Privates Sean Benton and Cheryl James in 1995 and Pte Geoff Gray in 2001 found they were not bullied to death.

Ms Heath continued: “2002/03 was just 100% James and everything else was pushed to the side and it was a very, very difficult time for everybody.

“It went on into the time of James’s inquest in 2006 when we were down in Swindon and missed our grandson being born back inPerth. We’re making up for lost time now, though.

“I don’t think it get easier and I don’t agree that time heals but it does teach you how to cope.”