11 Mar 2005

Soldier who died in accident in Solomon Islands named

4:26 pm on 11 March 2005

The Australian army today released the name of the soldier who died as the result of an apparent accident while on patrol in Solomon Islands yesterday.

Private Jamie Clark, a 21-year-old infantry soldier who served with the 3rd Battalion, died of his injuries after falling down a 15-metre shaft during a patrol with Australian-led police east of Honiara.

Lieutenant General Peter Leahy said Pte Clark was a respected member of the Australian Defence Force and asked that the family be given privacy to deal with their grief.

The Army chief said the soldiers were on a routine patrol and he was not sure if they were specifically looking for any weapons.

He said at this stage there was no indication the patrol was ambushed and all would be revealed after an investigation of the accident.

Lieutenant General Leahy says his understanding is that it was just a tragic accident.