A SOLDIER from the Tidworth-based First Fusiliers has died while serving overseas.

The MOD has today confirmed that Fusilier Sam Brownridge died on Sunday of a non-battle injury while deployed on Operation Cabrit in Estonia.

He was based with the Enhanced Forward Presence Force.

A spokesperson for the MOD said: "Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time".

An Army spokesperson added that a "full investigation is underway" following Mr Brownridge's death.

The 900 strong First Fusilier Battlegroup has been in Estonia since February and is due to be replaced by 5 RIFLES in the autumn.

Salisbury Journal: Sam BrownridgeSam Brownridge

A statement from the Army added: "Fusilier Brownridge found a natural home in the Mortar Platoon; he demonstrated real skill for the practical aspects of mortaring, as well as great enthusiasm for his new role and a keen desire to learn.

"Although softly spoken, Fusilier Brownridge had a warm and dry sense of humour; he was a genuinely selfless comrade who would make time for anyone and could always be relied upon to raise a smile, even during the most challenging conditions.

"Following his training cadre, Fusilier Brownridge deployed on exercise to Canada as the Number One in his Mortar Detachment, a position usually held by the more senior rank of Lance Corporal.

"His performance in Canada illustrated Fusilier Brownridge’s commitment to his profession and to his mates: he gave everything to them both."

The statement continued: "In preparation for deployment to Estonia, Fusilier Brownridge completed the Bulldog Armoured Fighting Vehicle Driver’s Course which qualified him to operate and maintain the Mortar Platoon’s main platform.

"A petrol-head to his core, Fusilier Brownridge embraced his new responsibilities and applied himself thoroughly on the course. Fusilier Brownridge also took the opportunity to develop himself during the tour, learning Spanish, working hard on his personal fitness and preparing to compete for the Army Enduro Motorcycle Racing Team.

"The tragic loss of Fusilier Brownridge is felt by all ranks and by the wider Fusilier family.  

"Fusilier Brownridge’s closest friends in Mortar Platoon were those who knew him best in the Battalion; he will be remembered as good humoured, generous, warm, devoted to his friends and family.  

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, particularly his cherished daughter Marcè.  

"Fusilier Brownridge will be sorely missed, but he will always be remembered."