Young soldier killed on parachute exercise

Soldiers during a patrol in Helmand Province,

Soldiers during a patrol in Helmand Province, - Credit: PA WIRE

A young Afghanistan veteran from Hackney has died in a parachuting accident in Germany.

Lance Corporal Ali Woodford, 26, from 1st Battalion The Rifles died last Tuesday whilst taking part in an ‘adventurous training expedition’, the Army has confirmed.

Lance Corporal Woodford, who leaves behind his wife Samantha and three-year-old son Oscar John, served in Afghanistan as a heavy machine gun operator.

Former colleagues paid tribute to the Hackney-born father-of-one, who was a scaffolder before he joined the army four years ago.

Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Grist MBE, described him as “a remarkable force within the Battalion”.

“A character amongst characters, he drank deep from life’s opportunities and was the first to volunteer for a testing task,” he said.

“It was typical of him to be taking up the challenge of parachuting. His bright cheerful character was one that was sought out; he was a leader with presence and drive.

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“We will miss his enthusiasm, his energy and his bright view on life. He was a great team player and a man to have your back.”

Lance Corporal Woodford came from a family with a ‘strong military background’ according to the Army and was a keen golfer, an enthusiastic drum and bass fan and an aspiring DJ.

The Army is investigating the incident and declined to comment further.