A WIRRAL soldier was found dead by a railway line in Germany, an inquest heard.
The body of Darren Topham, a sergeant in the Royal Army Medical Corp based in Bergen-Hohne, was discovered by dog walkers by the busy Hanover to Hamburg line on July 3.
The inquest at Wallasey Town Hall heard Birkenhead-born Sgt Topham, 41, had attended a barbecue organised by Army friends the night before his death.
A post mortem found he died from multiple injuries consistent with a glancing strike by a train to his right side.
Coroner’s officer Donald Johnston said: “At some point after midnight he went to the toilet. Friends went to look for him when he had not returned after five or 10 minutes.
“It was assumed he had gone to look for a taxi.”
The inquest heard Sgt Topham had consumed around 10 cans of beer and a brandy and coke and by midnight was “a bit drunk” and unsteady on his feet.
It was also told he had been in a “low mood” about being posted to a desk job because of a back injury.
But Mr Johnston said friends described him as happy on the day of the barbecue.
His commanding officer, Major Michael Taylor, told investigators he appeared to be excited about life beyond the Army and was considering applying to university.
Wirral Coroner Christopher Johnson recorded a narrative verdict.
He said: “It would appear he had an enjoyable, entertaining time during the social gathering.
“There is no evidence that the events that occurred were with the intention of taking his own life.
“It will never be known how and why he came to be in the place he was found.”
After the inquest Mr Topham’s family said they believed he had lost his way after leaving the barbecue because he was unfamiliar with the area.