Military funeral for NSF who died after heatstroke

Private Dave Lee Han Xuan, who had received posthumous recognition of the rank of Corporal First Class, will be awarded the Guards and Recon military tabs.
Private Dave Lee Han Xuan, who had received posthumous recognition of the rank of Corporal First Class, will be awarded the Guards and Recon military tabs.PHOTO: FACEBOOK

The full-time national serviceman who died on Monday after being warded for heatstroke will be accorded a military funeral, said the Chief of Staff (General Staff) of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), stressing that anyone found responsible for training safety violations will be taken to task.

In a statement released yesterday evening, Brigadier-General Siew Kum Wong added that the dead soldier, Private Dave Lee Han Xuan , received posthumous recognition of the rank of Corporal First Class.

He also said that Pte Lee, a guardsman from the 1st Battalion Singapore Guards, will be awarded the Guards and Recon military tabs, as well as the Guards beret he had been training for.

In his statement, BG Siew reiterated that an independent Committee of Inquiry, chaired by a senior civil servant from outside the Ministry of Defence or the SAF, will investigate Pte Lee's death.

The committee has full powers and access to both information and personnel to investigate what led to the death, find out the contributing factors, and make recommendations to correct any lapses or inadequacies uncovered. "Should there be training safety violations, the personnel responsible will be held accountable," said BG Siew.

Earlier yesterday, a Facebook user claiming to be from Pte Lee's battalion published a post detailing what he said was the sequence of events leading up to the march, after which Pte Lee collapsed. He also wrote about what he claimed had happened after the march.


Private Dave Lee Han Xuan was warded on April 18 and died on Monday, 10 days after his 19th birthday.

After that, a woman, who said she was Pte Lee's aunt shared the post and asked for clarity from SAF.

Pte Lee died on Monday, almost two weeks after he was warded for heatstroke on April 18.

He was admitted to Changi General Hospital - almost an hour after first showing signs of distress - where he was in the intensive care unit. He fell into a coma and his condition worsened.

 

He was pronounced dead at 5.32pm on Monday. His 19th birthday was just 10 days before.

"The army will do our utmost to support his family in this time of grief," BG Siew said.

Pte Lee enlisted on Jan 5 and completed his Basic Military Training on March 11. He was the only son of property agent Dennis Lee and spa manager Jasmine Yeo.

He attended Jurong Junior College, Yuhua Secondary School and Rulang Primary School.

The incident triggered a safety time-out on Monday morning, where SAF servicemen were briefed on the incident and told to take precautions.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2018, with the headline 'Military funeral for NSF who died after heatstroke'. Print Edition | Subscribe