Army

Captain Dean Sprouting: Widow To Return Medal To Prince Charles In Protest

Linda Sprouting cited the Government's failure to secure justice over her husband's death as her reason for returning the Elizabeth Cross.

The widow of a British soldier who died in a forklift truck collision in Iraq has vowed to return her Elizabeth Cross, citing the Government's failure to get justice over the death.

Captain Dean Sprouting, who was serving with the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland, was killed while stationed at Al Asad Air Base in 2018.

His deployment to Iraq was to provide security at the base for the US forces.

A US-led investigation saw charges, including negligent homicide, dropped against two American soldiers, with Ms Sprouting subsequently calling for the US to release the investigation documents.

Last year, Ms Sprouting called for an independent investigation into her husband's death.

Speaking to Forces News, Linda Sprouting said the medal, which had been presented to her by Prince Charles following her husband's death has been "devalued".

The medal recognises family members of those killed in action.

"To allow the Americans to investigate themselves and then go through their chain of command to exonerate themselves, to say that there was no blame on their behalf," Ms Sprouting said.

"[For] the UK to just sit back and allow them to investigate themselves because they don't want to tread on the toes of the Americans, it just sort of devalues the whole reason of being presented with this Cross."

Linda Sprouting was married to Capt Sprouting for 25 years.

Ms Sprouting has now accused officials of failing in their duty of care towards her family.

"For his life to be taken the way it was, you know, he wasn't fatally injured in combat, he didn't die out there of natural causes," she said.

"If they can't support a British personnel killed in this manner... it just takes away the whole meaning behind, in my case, of the Cross.

"It doesn't provide support, which I think it should have affirmed support and not denied us of it."

An MOD spokesperson said: "Our deepest sympathies remain with the family and friends of Captain Dean Sprouting.

"We take the safety of our personnel very seriously and liaised closely with US authorities throughout the investigation."