Belfast Telegraph

Tributes to soldier killed in diving tragedy

By Georgina Stubbs

A soldier who died in a "tragic diving incident" has been remembered as exemplary.

Lance Corporal George Partridge was expecting his first child with his wife.

Tributes to the 27-year-old, who died on March 26 at the National Dive Activity Centre in Chepstow, were led by his commanding officer.

Lieutenant Colonel Simon Doyle said: "Quietly determined, hard-working and immensely popular, Lance Corporal George Partridge was an exemplary soldier.

"Humble but hugely capable, he was always ready to lend a helping hand where it was needed the most and at some point everyone in the regiment has had cause to be grateful for his ability to find you a car when the vehicle park seemed empty.

"Our clearest memories of him will always be on the rugby pitch and in the gymnasium, where he was the epitome of a Royal Engineer junior non-commissioned officer, always pushing himself and his soldiers to the next level, and always with a smile on his face.

"He will be sorely missed, and our thoughts are with his wife and family at this sad time."

L/Cpl Partridge joined the Army in 2010.

He had served in Afghanistan in 2012 and was based with the 26 Engineer Regiment in Perham Down, Wiltshire.

The Ministry of Defence said that after promotion, L/Cpl Partridge had "recently achieved a long-held ambition to commence training as an Army diver".

A spokesman for the regiment said L/Cpl Partridge died "during the final week of his Army diver course".

He said it was investigating the incident, adding: "Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this extremely difficult time".

The MoD said L/Cpl Partridge loved sport and keeping fit.

He leaves behind his wife Zoe - who is expecting their first child - parents Alyson and Stephen and siblings Lucy and Ben.

Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster said: "It is clear from the testaments of his colleagues that he had a bright future in the Army and was held in the highest regard."

Sergeant Chris Brignull described L/Cpl Partridge as an "outstanding character and a great role model for younger sappers within the troop".

Corporal Anthony Matthews said: "He was a family-orientated man who was looking forward to starting his family with his wife Zoe.

"He was both a physically and mentally fit person who relished any challenge thrown in his direction."

L/Cpl Partridge's squadron commander Major Matt Walker said his death "leaves a void in the squadron that cannot be filled".

Belfast Telegraph

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