Tributes to Colchester soldier

A COLCHESTER soldier killed in Afghanistan has been praised as a “leading light” who will be sadly missed.Captain Alex Eida, of 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, was one of three soldiers killed by insurgents in southern Afghanistan earlier this week.

A COLCHESTER soldier killed in Afghanistan has been praised as a “leading light” who will be sadly missed.

Captain Alex Eida, of 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, was one of three soldiers killed by insurgents in southern Afghanistan earlier this week.

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel David Hammond, said he and his regiment knew the 29-year-old extremely well.

He said: “He was a real character and personality who grew up as an officer amongst us and gave so much to the regiment.


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“His relaxed yet self-assured air of professionalism, his commitment to his vocation and his soldiers and his infectious enthusiasm earned him the respect of all those that knew him.

“We have lost a gifted young officer and friend who was a leading light of the unit and will be sadly missed.

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“Most importantly our thoughts are with his family and many friends at this difficult time.”

Capt Eida first saw military service with the Territorial Army while studying for his degree in technology business studies at the University of Glamorgan.

On completion of his degree, his passion for travel and adventure training took him to Camp USA as an instructor, which he then followed with time as a ski rep and instructor in France.

However, he returned to the Army and attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, commissioning into the Royal Artillery when he finished his course in April 2002.

A statement from the Ministry of Defence yesterday described Capt Eida as extremely easygoing and self-effacing.

It said he was a soldier who always displayed real enthusiasm and passion for his work, on the sports field, during adventure training and socially.

“Beneath his relaxed exterior was a man with tremendous commitment and a positive attitude, all backed up by an impressive work ethic.

“This and his outstanding levels of fitness ensured his selection for an arduous appointment with 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, which he joined in October 2002.”

In 2003, Capt Eida, who was from Surrey and was single, was deployed to Iraq during the initial war-fighting phase.

He had also been deployed in Kosovo in 2004 in a covert surveillance role.

The statement said: “2006 saw him as a Forward Observation Officer in Afghanistan where his technical expertise, calm, diligent style and responsiveness not only endeared him to those who worked with him but also made a major contribution to the operation.”

The MoD said he was always prepared to “go the extra mile” for his soldiers, who willingly did the same for him.

“As such, he was not only popular with everyone but he was also universally admired and respected as a friend and colleague.”

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