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Saturday 15 June, 2024
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Who was Major General Matthew ‘Matt’ Holmes? What was his cause of death

BY Anas Shah Mar 31, 2023. 11:25 pm UPDATED: Mar 31, 2023. 11:25 pm

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An inquest has determined that the former commander of the Royal Marines committed suicide after suffering “significant stress.”

On October 2, 2021, Major General Matthew Holmes was discovered deceased in Winchester, Hampshire.

The inquest heard that in the months leading up to his death, Major General Holmes had lost his post as commander of the Royal Marines due to a reorganization, was facing the breakdown of his marriage, and was “angry” about the UK’s departure from Afghanistan.

He fought in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, and Northern Ireland, and he was a pallbearer at the burial of Prince Philip in 2021.

His widow, Lea, testified that he was instructed to either consent to the restructuring in which he would forfeit his position or resign.

He fought in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, and Northern Ireland, and he was a pallbearer at the burial of Prince Philip in 2021.

His widow, Lea, testified that he was instructed to either consent to the restructuring in which he would forfeit his position or resign.

Her husband was “told he had to sign or agree to resign,” she said, adding that the experience was “hugely humiliating.”

She stated that the family took a vacation in August 2021, which coincided with the British and American departure from Afghanistan.

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“This holiday was worse than any other family holiday, and there was the Afghanistan withdrawal – he was very preoccupied with that,” she told the inquest.

“He was getting messages from really distressed people and trying to do something about that.

“We decided to leave the holiday slightly early. On the last morning Matt said to me, ‘that’s it, we’re done’.”

When they returned, she said her spouse became hesitant to address their divorce.

“He said he did not think it was necessary that the gun was removed as he wasn’t a threat to anyone else,” Sarah Adkins said.

“He deeply loved his children,” she added.

“He said the main thing that was on the front burner of his mind was the way in which his career had been brought to conclusion.”

She said her brother was “awash with stress” in the final months of his life.

The Royal Marines Association’s chief executive, Jonathan Ball, told the inquiry that he spoke with Major General Holmes in the weeks before his passing.

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He claimed the former Royal Marines commander was concerned about “close personal friends” in the Afghan army who had been left behind after the departure.

“He felt that somehow he had personally failed them by failing to help get them out,” said Mr Ball.

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