A young soldier from a Wiltshire based regiment has died while on deployment in Estonia.

Fusilier Sam Brownridge, 23, from the First Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers based in Tidworth died on Sunday from what is being described by the MOD as a 'non-battle injury'.

As yet no more details of his cause of death have been given but tributes have been paid to the father of a young daughter.

The Fusiliers are in Estonia for Operation Cabrit, the codename for the British Army's deployment to Eastern Europe as part of NATO's deterrent against Russia.

Around 900 British soldiers, the bulk of which are Fusiliers, are working alongside Danish, French, and Estonian troops to strengthen defence in the Baltics for NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence.

Captain Dave Davies, Officer Commanding Mortar Platoon said: “Fusilier Sam Brownridge was the epitome of what it means to be a mortarman. He was a solid pair of hands that took pride in learning and getting to grips with a highly specialised and unique skillset.

"He was a truly well-liked Fusilier, who brought laughs wherever he went. As a father, he often spoke of his daughter, Marcè, and she was the centre around which he conducted himself daily.

"He endeavoured to be the best father that he could. I believe that he had truly found his home within Mortar Platoon and leaves behind positive memories with all who he served with.”

Fusilier Brownridge joined the Army in January 2017 and completed his initial training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick before being posted to the First Battalion.

He moved from Z Company to the Battalion’s Mortar Platoon in January 2019 and had been to Canada on exercise before completing the Bulldog Armoured Fighting Vehicle Driver’s Course in preparation for deployment to Estonia.

In a statement, the Army described him as "a petrol head to his core" and said he had worked hard on his fitness in preparation for competing for the Army Enduro Motorcycle Racing Team.

"He will be remembered as good humoured, generous, warm, devoted to his friends and family," the statement added.

Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Head, Commanding Officer, First Fusiliers Battlegroup, said: “Fusilier Brownridge was everything we want in a young infantry soldier. Fun loving and fiercely loyal to his mates, hardworking, determined and professional in everything he did, and always up for a new challenge, he was a Fusilier through and through.

"Throughout the infantry, mortarmen are well known as unfailingly tough soldiers, who work hard and play hard, relishing the tight knit community the Mortar Platoon offers.

"Fusilier Brownridge was the epitome of a mortarman and wore his qualification badge with great pride.

"I am proud to have served with Fusilier Brownridge. He will be missed terribly, and this tragedy has shaken the First Fusiliers family to its core. At this most difficult time, my heartfelt condolences, thoughts and prayers are with Fusilier Brownridge, his family, friends and fellow soldiers. Once a Fusilier always a Fusilier.”