British Army soldier Captain Dean Sprouting

The Ministry of Defence has announced the death of a British soldier at Al Asad Airbase, Iraq.

Captain Dean Sprouting was serving with the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

The MoD says the incident is currently under investigation and confirmed it was not the result of enemy activity.

Captain Sprouting died on January 31.

The father of two joined the Army in 1989 and had served around the world, including northern Yugoslavia, Cyprus and Kosovo, Sudan, Angola and Germany.

Lt Col Rob Hedderwick, Commanding Officer of the Black Watch, said: "It is hard to do justice to a man such as Dean Sprouting with simple words.

"In no time at all he had become an indispensable part of the battalion, not only for his professional expertise but also for his compassionate manner and camaraderie."

"His intelligence and sharp wit was apparent from the outset; there was an ever-present twinkle in his eye and he would gladly admit that his youth had been full of adventure.

"Dean was simply one of those people whose infectious humour and enthusiasm drew others to him."

"His professional knowledge was second to none and his sage advice already something I had come to rely on.

"His loss is keenly felt by us all and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children whom I know he cherished more than anything else in this world.

"I am hugely proud and thankful to have known him. He was a very good man."

Warrant Officer Class One Tam Millsip, Visiting Warrant Officer, 51 Infantry Brigade said:

"Dean’s warm, personable nature was never diluted while conducting his duties and those who he had dealings with were always left smiling after Dean imparted his unique wisdom and outlook on life.

"Dean was a tremendously entertaining man to be around.

"He would bring a great deal of joy and laughter to those around him often at the expense of himself; there was never a boring day spent with Dean and my thoughts go out to his family at this very sad time."

Minister for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster said:

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very difficult time.

"An investigation is underway to establish the detail but it is not a result of enemy activity."

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