Pte Michael Ihemere  died during a training run across moorland (MoD)
Pte Michael Ihemere died during a training run across moorland (MoD)

Tributes have been paid to the soldier who died while on a moorland training exercise in North Yorkshire.

Pte Michael Ihemere, from Umuodo, Nigeria had been taking part in a three-mile run near Leyburn on the army-controlled Catterick ranges when he collapsed.

Ihemere, who had recently returned from Afghanistan, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

The soldier, from the 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment, had celebrated his 26th birthday the day before.

Tributes have now been paid to the soldier, who joined the British Army in 2011. He was deployed to Afghanistan in October 2012 serving with C Company, based in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province.

His commanding officer, Ltn Colonel Mark Ellwood, said: "Pte Ihemere quickly established himself as a valued member of his platoon.

"He proved to be a reliable, talented and popular soldier, respected by all across the company.

"His likeable and kind nature immediately endeared him to those he worked with.

"Whilst on operations, he was involved in some fierce fighting but always remained calm, did his job well and supported his friends and colleagues with resolute loyalty.

"Pte Ihemere showed early signs that he had the potential to progress in the Army and had a bright future.

"His loss will be keenly felt across the battalion and the thoughts, prayers and sympathies of all those that had the pleasure to know Private Ihemere are with his wife and family at this difficult time."

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman confirmed his death was not been treated as suspicious.

Ihemere's death came weeks after the deaths of three soldiers during an SAS training exercise, on one of the hottest days of the year, in the Brecon Beacons.

Crpl James Dunsby, Lance Crpl Craig Roberts and Trooper Eddie Maher died after carrying heavy packs while attempting to cross the Pen y Fan mountain.

Temperature in the Leyburn area, where Ihemere died was reported to be around 17C and there had been a light breeze.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said it could not comment on whether Ihemere had been carrying weighted packs.