§ Mr. Keetch
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel in each of the three Services have committed suicide in each of the last three years; how many of those who died served in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Caplin
[holding answer 9 June 2004]: In the period 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2003, there were 39 suicide and open verdict deaths recorded by a coroner (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or the Procurator Fiscal (Scotland) among UK armed forces personnel. Three of these deaths were among personnel who had served on Operation Telic during the period 10 January 2003 and 20 December 2003 (the latest date for which fully validated Operation Telic deployment data are available). During the period 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2003, there were a further 21 deaths for which we are awaiting a verdict, of which three are for personnel who have served on Operation Telic.
A breakdown of the suicides and open verdict deaths by year of occurrence is given in the following table:
Suicides and open verdict deaths in UK armed forces, 2001–03 Year of death Number Number who had served on Operation Telic 2001 11 n/a 2002 15 n/a 2003 13 3 Total 39 3 n/a = not applicable.