A ‘regimental rising star’ is how a Hucknall soldier, who was tragically killed on exercise in Devon, has been described by his commanding officer.
Father-to-be, Private Cameron Laing, 20, died after being struck by an uncoupled trailer and pinned against the towing vehicle as a small convoy returned to Okehampton battle camp.
The former Holgate student, who was serving with 7 Theatre Logistic Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, suffered severe head and chest injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics at around 9.45pm on Tuesday 24th April.
Tributes have been paid to the young soldier from colleagues, the community, his family and partner Jessica Morris who is expecting Cameron’s first child and has pledged to call their son after the father he will now never know.
“Cameron was an amazing son, brother, boyfriend and expectant father,” said his family and partner in a joint statement. “He was a loveable rogue, always playing practical jokes and the fun in any situation.
“He couldn’t wait to be a father to his son, baby Cameron. He will be sorely missed by everyone whose life he touched.”
Pte Laing, joined the Army in 2011 and after completing Phase 1 Military Training, he qualified as a Royal Logistic Corps Driver.
He went on to join 7 Theatre Logistic Regiment RLC in April 2013.
“The Regiment has lost one of its rising stars,” said Lieut Col Ian Poole RLC, Commanding Officer 7 Theatre Logistic Regiment.
“Pte Laing was a bright, engaging and highly respected young soldier. Always ready to help others and never one to complain.
“In the relatively short time he was with the regiment he had earned himself a reputation as a soldier who always gave of his best,” added Lt Col Poole. “A true character, we are much poorer today with his passing.
Major Rhys Evans RLC, Officer Commanding 9 Fuel and General Transport Squadron added: “Pte Laing was a soldier who had a great deal of potential, with maturity and professionalism beyond his years.
“The squadron is united in grief but also in feeling tremendously proud to have served alongside such a considerate and likeable young man.
Cpl Daniel Haydon, 1 Sect Commander, Bulk Liquids Troop served with Pte Laing in Afghanistan and looked back at their time together.
He said:“I joined the unit at the same time as Pte Laing and we worked on the vehicles for the Rear Operations Group together when the regiment was deployed to Afghanistan.
“Initially quiet, every day he grew in confidence and I quickly saw a cheekier side to him. Nobody ever had a bad word to say about him and he knew his job inside out. He was a great guy”
Sherwood MP Mark Spencer said very often the efforts of the armed services don’t receive enough recognition for the role they play and the sacrifices they make.
“This is a very tragic reminder of the difficult job those serving in the forces do,” said Mr Spencer. “I want to pass on my sympathies to the family and friends of this young man who has lost his life.
“It is a tragedy.”
The Health and Safety Executive has been informed and a police investigation into the incident continues.