Tributes have been paid to a young soldier from the Royal Yorkshire Regiment after he was found dead in his barracks a few days into 2024. 

Private Kieran Steven Heaney, 20, who served in the 2nd Battalion of the regiment, died at Dale Barracks in Chester on January 4.

No further details have been released by the Ministry of Defence over Pte Heaney's death at this time - but heartfelt tributes have been paid by colleagues who knew the 20-year-old. 

Joining the British Army in September 2019, Pte Heaney served in the Second Battalion in Cyprus, providing force protection to the Sovereign Base Area strategic sites.

He was then deployed in Kabul, Afghanistan, in August 2021, becoming one of the youngest soldiers deployed at just 18 years of age. 

In a tribute from the Yorkshire Regiment, Pte Heaney's courage, bravery and positivity were noted as big parts of his personality, alongside his skill in the boxing ring.

The tribute from the regiment read: "In adverse, austere, and demanding conditions he assisted thousands of Afghan Nationals in escaping to safe locations. This was a testament to his discipline, courage, compassion, and maturity.

The Northern Echo: Private Kieran Steven Heaney, 20Private Kieran Steven Heaney, 20 (Image: BRITISH ARMY)

"He was known for his bravery, positivity, and courage in and out of the boxing ring. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and colleagues."

Headquartered in York, the Royal Yorkshire Regiment's recruitment spans across Yorkshire and Teesside, with the 1st battalion based at Catterick, North Yorkshire, and the 2nd battalion in Chester.

Following Pte Heaney's death, his commanding officer, Lt Col M Wade-Smith, described the 20-year-old as "selfless, reliable and respected."


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In a tribute, Lt Wade-Smith said: "Private Heaney was dependable, the one you could trust to get the task done, without fuss or fanfare. Reliable and respected by his peers and seniors alike.

"Brave, resilient, disciplined, friendly, fun, and courageous.

"Private Heaney had already demonstrated all these qualities in the operational and sporting arenas.

"Selfless in his service he will be missed by all members of the Battalion.”