British solider arrested over death of Corporal in Cyprus

Corporal John Fernandez  was killed after being hit by a car at the UK's Dhekelia base in Cyprus. Picture; PA
Corporal John Fernandez was killed after being hit by a car at the UK's Dhekelia base in Cyprus. Picture; PA

A British soldier has been arrested in connection with the death of an “exemplary” infantryman who was hit by a car on a UK base.

The Royal Military Police (RMP) are investigating after Corporal John Fernandez, 32, of the 2nd Battalion the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (2PWRR), was killed while walking in the UK sovereign base area in Dhekelia, southeast Cyprus on Saturday night.

Corporal John Fernandez of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, who was killed after being hit by a car at the UK's Dhekelia base in Cyprus. Picture; PA

Corporal John Fernandez of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, who was killed after being hit by a car at the UK's Dhekelia base in Cyprus. Picture; PA

An Army source said the car, which was not a military vehicle, fled the scene.

A spokesman for the MoD said: “We can confirm that Cpl John Fernandez of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment was killed in a road traffic incident in Dhekelia, Cyprus, on Saturday evening.

“British Forces Cyprus can confirm that a member of the British military has been arrested in connection to the road traffic incident on 29 July which resulted in the death of Corporal John Fernandez.

“A thorough investigation is now underway and it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time.”

Cpl Fernandez had recently been nominated for a commendation for his actions during an explosive attack at the base area police station in Dhekelia last month, which he took it with “huge humility”, his senior officer said.

Lieutenant Colonel James Skelton, commanding officer of 2PWRR, also known as the Tigers, said: “Cpl Fernandez was the finest of men and a true Tiger.

“He stood out from his peers as an exemplary infantry soldier, a leader and a servant to his soldiers.

“His example of fitness, courage and personal discipline stand as a marker as to what we, as infantrymen, can all aspire to be.

“More importantly he was a great friend to so many in the battalion who sought the friendship of a kind, funny and genuinely good man. His loss is keenly felt by each and every one of us.

“Along with his family and friends, the Tigers mourn his loss, but at the same time we must celebrate his memory and follow his example in life.”