Bulford solider died in Alps climbing accident after rock toppled over

Bulford solider died in Alps climbing accident after rock toppled over

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 9:20am 28th April 2020. (Updated at 9:33am 28th April 2020)

2 minute read

An inquest has taken place into the death of Lance Corporal Hayden Prince.

The 24 year old was on a private trip in the Swiss Alps last June with two mountainerring friends while on annual leave from the British Army.

The group were descending the Matterhorn back to the Hornli base in darkness when the accident happened but were well equipped and had head torches.

Lance Corporal Prince's friends, Luke Nibbs and Michael Slade, told the inquest he was abseiling down a gully when a rock came loose.

His rope had been put around a rock "the size of a double fridge freezer" and had been tested before he began his descent.

Mr Nibbs told the inquest he "saw the entire rock come off the mountain edge."

The pair were only able to shout after their friend as their abseiling rope fell with him.

They called Mountain Rescue and were winched from the mountain by helicopter.

Lance Corporal Prince died of blunt force trauma to the chest -fall from height was also given as a cause of death.

Cambridgeshire coroner Nicholas Moss told the hearing there was nothing the two friends could have done to prevent the fall and concluded the death was accidental.

L/Cpl Prince, who was born in Cambridge, served with the 1st Fusiliers and was a junior non-commissioned officer at Bulford Barracks.

A memorial service was held in his honour last year.

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