Three years after the initial investigation of new allegations about assault at Deepcut barracks and misconduct there, an arrest was not made.

Surrey Police was forced to open an investigation into the fresh evidence that led to new demands by the family of four victims killed at the barracks.

The second inquiry into the death of a recruit was shockingly different. Police have now launched an investigation and are continuing to receive new information from former soldiers.

In Deepcut, between 1995 and 2002 four soldiers lost their lives from gunshot wounds.

Former soldiers provided firsthand accounts during the second round inquests into the deaths of their loved ones.

After a second inquest into Sean Benton’s death, Surrey Police confirmed the new investigation in February 2019.

Surrey Police initiated a criminal probe into four deaths at Deepcut Barracks, where they were recruited as army soldiers. The investigation was prompted by bullying allegations. 

Inquests into the deaths of the four recruits cited the problem of bullying at Deepcut barracks, pictured

The problem of bullying at Deepcut Barracks was cited by inquests investigating the deaths of four recruits.

Private James Collinson, 17, from Perth, top left, Private Cheryl James, 18, from Llangollen, North Wales, top right, Private Sean Benton, from Hastings, East Sussex, bottom left, and Private Geoff Gray, from Seaham, Durham, bottom right, all died at the barracks

Private James Collinson (17), Perth; Private Cheryl James (18), Llangollen. North Wales. Top right. Private Sean Benton from Hastings East Sussex. Bottom left. Private Geoff Gray from Seaham. Durham. All died in the barracks.

In 2018, his inquest was concluded and the force reported that they were launching a second investigation into Geoff Gray’s death at the beginning of 2019’s second inquest.

Surrey police are unable to confirm that anyone has been charged, warned, or arrested since the start of this investigation.

Surrey Police spokesmen could not confirm that the investigation was still underway.

Three deaths from the second round were investigated by the inquests at Woking, which took place between 2016 and 2019.

Many former soldiers testified about their abuse at Deepcut during the second Sean Benton Inquest.

Numerous people named Sgt Andrew Gavaghan as a participant in the incidents at Camp.

An additional NCO was Sgt. Major Martin Holder, who was also a former soldier.

One group called the Respiratorgang was also reported to have been involved in late-night beatings.

Pte. Benton was declared dead by His Honour Judge Peter Rook, QC.

The coroner found that the victim, aged 20, had shot himself five more times in the chest.

Geoff Snr was the father of Pte Geoff Gray. He stated that it would have been appropriate for police to conclude their investigation by now, regardless what the result.

“It appears that Surrey Police has buried Deepcut forever.”

Des James was the father of Cheryl James who died in Deepcut from gunshot wounds sustained at Deepcut. He said that he still feels frustrated at the absence of accountability by Surrey Police and MoD.

“I believe the MoD and Surrey Police were given a pass.

“Four children died at a camp that we know is out of control. Just because there was no evidence to support the claim, doesn’t necessarily mean there wasn’t.

It was obvious that no one wanted to find it due to the time delay.

“All things considered, the bottom was never right and these kids deserve more.

James added that the abuse cases would continue to surface until they are resolved.

A Surrey Police statement stated that in February 2019: “Following last year’s inquest into the death of Private Sean Benton, Surrey Police has reviewed the evidence and accepted the request from the Benton Family for a criminal investigation into allegations of assault and misconduct at the Princess Royal Barracks in Deepcut.

“This review was complete and a criminal investigation has begun into several allegations.

“The investigation remains active, so it is inappropriate for me to provide further information at this stage.”

Former soldiers are continuing to make new claims.

An ex-serviceman, who asked to remain anonymous claimed that a gun was pointed towards him while training at Pirbright.

According to the former soldier, the muzzle of his gun was put into his eyes.

Surrey Police has confirmed that the investigation remains ongoing.

The timeline for key events in Deepcut

April 1993: Deepcut’s Royal Barracks is made the headquarters of the Royal Logistic Corps. It was an Army base that dates back to 1900.

June 1995: Sean Benton dies from five gunshot injuries. An inquest is held the following month and a suicide verdict is recorded.

November 1995: Cheryl James dies

December 1995: A verdict is open in the Inquest into Pte.

September 2001: Geoff Gray has been found dead

March 2002: A public verdict was recorded by the inquest into Pte Grey’s death

February 2002: James Collinson has been found dead

Deepcut army barracks in Surrey which has been at the centre of allegations of bullying and abuse

Surrey’s Deepcut army barracks has been accused of bullying and other abuse.

April 2002: Surrey Police initiate a joint investigation to investigate the deaths Pte Gray’s and Pte Collinson. Later, the force confirms that it’s also looking into Pte James’ and Pte Bent’s deaths.

June 2002: Family members of the four soldiers request a public inquiry 

September 2003: Surrey Police concluded that there is no case for prosecution in relation to the deaths of the young soldiers

May 2004: Government rejects requests for an inquiry by the public into deaths of soldiers

In a report to the police, October 2004, new allegations about Deepcut’s gang rape, bullying system and sexual harassment are made. Nicholas Blake QC led the review, which was announced by government officials. However, no full public inquiry is ordered.

March 2006: An open verdict from the inquest jury investigating Pte Collinson’s death

March 2006: Although the Blake Review criticizes Army training, noting ‘harassment and discrimination’ as well as oppressive behavior, it concludes that these deaths are likely self-inflicted.

May 2009: Again, the government rejects public inquiries

March 2011: An investigation by Devon and Cornwall Police revealed that Surrey Police had not thoroughly investigated a suspect known as the “unknown white man” in relation to the death of Pte James.  

July 2014: Judges of the High Court order an inquest to investigate Pte James’s death 

June 2016, The second inquest into the death of Pte. James found that her gunshot to the head was intentional and self-inflicted. Her death was ruled suicide.

October 2016, High Court Judge rules that a new inquest into Pte. Benton’s death can be conducted

November 2017: Pte Grey’s family wins High Court action to have a new inquest.

January 2018, Woking Coroner’s Court begins a fresh inquiry into Pte.