NEWS
02/04/2018 19:17 BST

Soldier Who Died In 'Tragic' Diving Incident Was Soon To Become A Father

Lance Corporal George Partridge was described as ‘immensely popular’.

A British soldier has died in a “tragic diving incident” in Chepstow, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

Lance Corporal George Partridge, who died on March 26 at the National Dive Activity Centre, was expecting his first child with his wife.

He has been described by his commanding officer as an “exemplary soldier”.

The 27-year-old who joined the Army in 2010 had previously served in Afghanistan in 2012 and was based with the 26 Engineer Regiment in Perham Down, Wiltshire. 

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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.”

Having been selected for promotion to the rank of corporal, the MoD said he had “recently achieved a long-held ambition to commence training as an Army diver”.

26 Engineer Regiment posted on Facebook stating L/Cpl Partridge died “during the final week of his Army diver course”.

An Army spokesman said they are investigating the incident, adding: “Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this extremely difficult time.”

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The MoD said L/Cpl Partridge loved his sport and fitness, and 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.”

His squadron commander Major Matt Walker said the loss of this “epic junior non-commissioned officer leaves a void in the squadron that can’t be filled”.

While Lance Corporal Ash Skerten added: “If I could be half the man he was I would be proud, he was the best soldier.”

Troop commander Lieutenant David Thornett said he was a “genuinely good bloke who knew how to make people laugh” and that he will be “sorely missed”.

L/Cpl Partridge’s first years in the Army were spent at 21 Engineer Regiment in Ripon, North Yorkshire, before moving to 26 Engineer Regiment after promotion, the MoD said.

He served as a motor transport Lance Corporal and was responsible for allocating drivers to tasks on daily driving details, as well as scheduling maintenance and repairs for the regiment’s large fleet of wheeled vehicles.