Tributes to Hampshire Soldier

Tributes have been paid to two soldiers who were killed in a fire at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

Private Robert Wood and Private Dean Hutchinson, of the Royal Logistic Corps, were killed in the blaze on Monday.

The cause of the fire, which took place in the workplace, is under investigation but is not thought to be the result of enemy action.

Pte Wood, 28, known as "Woody'', recently became a father to a boy, Noah, and was looking forward to returning to his family after his tour of duty.

He was a driver port operator, posted to 17 Port and Maritime Regiment, and lived in Marchwood in Hampshire.

His parents and partner, Rebecca, said: "Rob was an adored and adoring son, partner, and father to his baby son. We are so immensely proud of him and he will live in our hearts forever.''

Pte Hutchinson, 23, known as "Hutch'', was a driver with the Theatre Logistic Group's Transport Troop, based at Chippenham in Wiltshire.

His family said: "Dean was an amazing son, brother and boyfriend. We were so proud of him when he joined the Army, as were his family and friends, all of whom loved him very much.

"He will always be in our hearts and thoughts. Forever and always, we love you, son.''

Colleagues described Pte Wood as a kind hearted man and proud new father.

Major Steve Cornell, Officer Commanding General Support Squadron, said:

"Private Wood was a strong character with a sense of humour that shone through in the toughest of times.

"Immensely proud of his new son, Private Wood was also proud of his service in the Corps.

"An integral part of the squadron and excellent at his trade, he made a positive impact at whatever he turned his hand to. He will be sorely missed.''

Lieutenant Tim Fitzgerald, Troop Commander Transport Troop, said:

"Private Wood was the sort of soldier who made my life easy.

"A highly dependable and kind hearted man, the other Privates looked up to and respected him.''

Pte Hutchinson was described as an energetic soldier with an infectious sense of humour.

Lt Col Simon Hutchings, Commanding Officer Theatre Logistic Group, said:

"Private Hutchinson was a soldier with a real zest for life and a razor like sense of humour.

"As a Geordie he was an immensely fun-loving person, fast talking and an avid Newcastle United football fan.

"He was hugely proud of his job and the fact that he was one of only a handful of soldiers qualified to operate the Rough Terrain Container Handler, a vital piece of equipment in the logistic support chain.''

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

"These men worked hard to provide the vital logistic support that makes military operations in Afghanistan possible; both were rightfully proud of the part that they played in protecting our national security.

"I offer my sincere condolences to their families and loved ones, and to those who served alongside them in the Theatre Logistic Group.''