A sergeant has been killed in a shooting accident on a training area, the British Army has said.
Gavin Hillier, who was from the Welsh Guards, died on Thursday, when a live firing exercise was taking place at the Castlemartin range in Pembrokeshire.
It is understood Sergeant Hillier was due to be deployed to Iraq and had previously been awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct medal by Prince Charles, the regiment’s Colonel in Chief, in 2019.
Friends have paid tribute to him on social media and his heartbroken dad said he died doing “the job he loved”.
In a heartbreaking message on Facebook he wrote: “Absolutely devastated to be writing this post, probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
“At 3.45 this morning I received a phone call that will forever change my life.
“My eldest son was in a fatal accident, in the army, the job he loved.
“Sleep tight and rest in peace son. I’m so proud of you. Goodnight and God bless. Love you’re heartbroken dad, xxx.”
A fellow soldier posted online: “Such sad news to hear this morning, such a great leader and what a guy to work along side.
“RIP, mate see you on the reorg.”
The Welsh Guards are based at Buckingham Palace and Windsor where they protect the Queen.
The MOD firing notice shows firing exercises have been carried out at the range every day this week, with a number of roads and footpaths closed to allow the training to go ahead.
Welsh police and the Defence Accidents Investigation Branch have opened an investigation.
A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: “It is with great sadness we can confirm the death of a soldier on the 4th of March.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time.
“The circumstances surrounding this death are being investigated and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”