A tribute has been paid to a soldier whose "warmth could fill a room" after he died suddenly at Catterick Garrison.
Highlander Nicki Hart was said to always be "the quiet and calm voice of reason" and a "popular and likeable" soldier who made people around him see the lighter side of life.
The 33-year-old died in the early hours of 5 February at Catterick Garrison and was one of two Catterick soldiers to die that weekend – the two incidents are separate and not being treated as suspicious.
Originally from Wales, Highlander Hart first joined the British Army as a reservist with the Royal Welsh in 2008.
He is said to have enjoyed it so much that a year later he started infantry training at Catterick, before joining the 5th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, also known as The Highlanders, in 2010.
Then he moved to Germany to join B Company, 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS), who he served with until his death.
During his service, Highlander Hart deployed on several tours and was awarded Operational Service Medals for Afghanistan and Iraq.
His last deployment was Op Toral 10 to Kabul, where he provided security to Camp Quargha and helped to close the camp.
A eulogy released by 4 SCOTS paid tribute to the soldier, saying: "He always had a way of calming even the most irritable of people by making them see the lighter side of life.
It continued: "During Op TORAL 10, during many a month being confined to camp due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nicki decided he wanted to be baptised so, during one of the Padre's visits to Quargha, the whole camp was mustered to watch him being baptised in the military working dog swimming pool.
"His constant professionalism, personal pride, and friendly demeanour made him an obvious choice to help with regimental recruiting.
"He took to the job with ease, and recruiting in the farthest reaches of Scotland, he found that his thick Welsh accent proved to be an asset, as people would be drawn to him.
"Always smiling, his light-hearted nature and warmth could fill a room. He cared deeply for his friends and family, and will be sorely missed by all those who knew him," the tribute added.
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