Young Hackney-born Afghanistan veteran dies in parachuting accident

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A young Afghanistan veteran from Hackney has died whilst taking part in a parachute training expedition, the Army has said. 

Lance Corporal Ali John Woodford, 26, based at Beachley Barracks in Gloucestershire, died on September 29 in Sennelager, Germany.

He had earlier served as a heavy machine gun operator under the Protective Mobility Group in Afghanistan, providing protection to his vehicle. 

Lance Corporal Woodford, known as ‘Woody’ to his friends, leaves behind his wife Samantha and three-year-old son, Oscar John.

Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Grist MBE, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion The Rifles, paid tribute to Lance Corporal Woodford describing him as a “remarkable force within the Battalion.”

“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.”

A spokesperson for the Army said Lance Corporal Woodford was a keen golfer, who also had an interest in drum and bass as well as being an aspiring DJ.

He had a job in scaffolding before joining the Army in 2011.

Captain Steve Tisbury, Commanding Officer,  Motor Transport Platoon, said Lance Corporal Woodford was a “very likeable young man.”

“He had quickly amassed an impressive CV of some of the most difficult Motor Transport courses within the platoon and was my first port of call for all driving training.”

He continued: “But most important to him was his son Oscar John who he loved dearly and would do anything for. Woody would often talk about his weekends and it would always be aimed around seeing Oscar John as much as he could.”

Rifleman Bennie, Motor Transport Platoon, said: “I know one day his son Oscar John will be proud of his dad for serving in The Rifles and for the great person he was. I have lots of great memories of my friend that will never be forgotten.”

The Army said it is investigating the incident.

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