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TA sergeant Trevor dies on manoeuvres

AN ENGINEER has spoken of his family's anguish after his war veteran brother collapsed and died while on manoeuvres with the Territorial Army.

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TREVOR Heath in his Territorial Army uniform.

AN ENGINEER has spoken of his family's anguish after his war veteran brother collapsed and died while on manoeuvres with the Territorial Army.

Trevor Heath, 49, a sergeant with 207 Field Hospital, was taking part in a map reading exercise on Holcombe Moor, near Ramsbottom, when he had a heart attack.

His devastated older brother Stewart, 55, of Sowerby Drive, Great Harwood, told the Observer his own grown-up children were heartbroken at their uncle's death.

He said: "He doted on family. Before mum died he lived with her and loved nothing more than taking her out to the shops.

"He never married and he treated my two kids like his own.

"We were very close-knit and it's hard coming to terms with his death."

Trevor had 25 years' service in the Territorial Army and adored every bit of it.

He served in the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts, in both Gulf wars, and was preparing to return to Iraq with his unit in April.

Stewart said: "He loved everything about the military and enjoyed travelling with the TA.

"Our mum was Greek, and at 16 he took himself round Greece to meet her family. He was a fluent Greek speaker and travelled extensively.

"He threw himself into things with real energy. He was a judo black belt and loved action.

"With the TA he found his vocation, and if it hadn't been for his devotion to mum he would have joined up full-time."

Trevor had lived in France Street, Church, with mother Poppy until she died last March.

After her death, he divided his time between the TA, family and work at Allspeeds engineering works in Clayton-le-Moors.

"He managed to do all these things," said Stewart. "I will remember him with a smile on my face as he was fun and enjoyed life.

"He modelled himself on Steve McQueen in The Great Escape."

His commanding officer, Colonel Cliff Godby, said: "Sergeant Heath was one of the unit's great characters.

"He was an accomplished instructor, passing on his military and medical skills to his colleagues. He will be sorely missed."

Trevor was treated by colleagues after he collapsed and rushed to hospital but he was dead on arrival.

He leaves a host of cherished friends, his brother, nephew Andrew, 33, and niece Gemma, 29.