19-year-old reservist dies after collapsing during training march

A 19-year-old reservist from the Lorne Scots Regiment based in Oakville, Ontario. died last week after collapsing during a training exercise.

According to a post on the regiment’s Facebook page, Pte. Connor James Beck had almost completed a rucksack walk when he collapsed.

“He was rushed to Brampton Civic Hospital along with members of his chain of command and his parents arrived shortly thereafter,” the regimental commander, Lt. Col., said. R. Fraser.

“Despite the incredible efforts of hospital staff who administered lifesaving measures for nearly an hour, Private Beck passed away on May 12, 2022.”

The Department of National Defense has not yet released an official statement on the incident or whether an investigation into Beck’s death is ongoing.

“While each death is equally tragic, we generally issue statements at the national level when the death has occurred during operational employment, during a training exercise or when the circumstances are such that significant media attention is likely to exist,” a National Defense spokesperson told CBC. News.

“While no nationwide statement has been released for Private Connor James Beck, we nonetheless mourn his passing and offer our deepest condolences to his family during this difficult time.”

The spokesperson also said that when a member of the Canadian Forces dies due to a medical condition, there are “Privacy Act considerations, which may require us not to disclose the name of the deceased”.

Private Connor James Beck, 19, graduated from Heart Lake High School in 2020 and went on to Humber College, where he earned a Police Foundation certification. (Lorne Scots Regiment/Facebook)

The death came days before Defense Minister Anita Anand – who is the MP for Oakville – and Toronto-area Liberal MP Adam van Koeverden joined the Lorne Scots Regiment for their annual mess dinner in Oakville the last weekend.

Anand and van Koeverden tweeted photos of themselves at the event, but neither post mentioned Beck’s death.

A spokesman for the minister said Anand was told of Beck’s death before dinner and referred to the tragedy during his remarks at his dinner.

“This wonderful event takes place against the backdrop of the recent and tragic loss of Pte Connor James Beck, whom I know we are all thinking of tonight. I offer my deepest condolences to Pte Beck’s family and friends, and I know that despite the enormous sacrifices made by our military, saying goodbye to a friend is never easier,” Anand said, according to his prepared remarks.

“The entire defense establishment joins you in your grief, and I hope we can take a moment tonight to share Pte Beck’s memories and celebrate his life and service.”

In addition to mentioning Pte. Beck in his remarks, Anand spoke with members of the regiment of Pte. Beck, his legacy and his services, the spokesperson told CBC News.

The post said Beck had served with the Lorne Scots since 2020 but, due to the pandemic, was not yet fully trained.

“The unit is, understandably, in shock and struggling to understand what happened. This is true for her parents, but more so,” the post reads.

The publication described Beck as “a good kid, a very good kid” who is remembered for being “committed to purpose, pure in heart and with high ethical standards”.

The funeral will take place on May 26. An obituary posted on the funeral home’s website says Beck “just collapsed” during the hike and “the cause of death is not known at this time.”

The obituary says Beck graduated from Heart Lake High School in 2020 and went to Humber College, where he earned a Police Foundation certification with plans to build a career as a police officer or border services officer.