A SOLDIER found dead in his room was described by his colleagues as "happy-go-lucky" and "a character".

Corporal Barry Wright, from the First Battalion of Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was located in Mooltan Barracks accommodation in Tidworth on November 24, 2020, after he failed to turn up to a parade that day, an inquest heard.

The 37-year-old had moved to the army site from a Tidworth address the weekend before his death, due to a domestic situation at the home.

Reading out witness accounts during yesterday's inquest, January 13, assistant coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon Ian Singleton told the court that on November 24, 2020, Barry's whereabouts in the afternoon was unknown, so a colleague retrieved a master key to enter his bedroom.

Barry was located in his room at around 3.10pm, and emergency services were called to the scene. Despite first aid efforts, paramedics confirmed his death within the hour.

Barry, from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, had been struggling with his mental health, with financial, occupational and marital issues having an effect.

In August 2020 Barry was placed on the army's register for those who are at risk or vulnerable and was prescribed antidepressants.

Despite this, his peers were unaware of any self harm or suicide plans.

Barry had been in touch with the medical team, and was monitored due to the register, but he declined further help and support.

It was heard that his arrest on November 22, 2020, with no further information provided, and his move to the barracks, had “knocked him off his positive trajectory”.

He spoke with his officers in the days leading up to his death, with parties concerned about his career and wellbeing.

Mr Singleton concluded death by suicide.

The inquest in Salisbury heard Barry's colleagues describe him as "a character who everyone loved and had spoken about".

They said he was "happy-go-lucky", but it became clear he "just smiled and got on with things at work", despite personal struggles.

Addressing improvements to be made within the battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Head told the inquest that the drive to improve mental health would continue.

He said this was something that needed just as much attention as physical health, due to the stress of the job and now, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Training in the form of scenario-based learning and activities would proceed so colleagues know how to respond to any situation.

The data system is to be addressed, and there is a need for more welfare agents onsite, which has been actioned.

For more information on why local newspapers cover inquests, click here.

For more information and guidance about mental health and suicide visit samaritans.org. You can call the Samaritans on 116 123.

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