Lance Corporal George Partridge joined the Army on 13th June 2010 at the age of 19.
After completing his basic training at Bassingbourn in Cambridgeshire, where he was awarded the prize for Fittest Recruit, he moved to 3 Royal School of Military Engineering Regiment at Minley in Surrey for combat engineer training, and from there to Leconsfield for vocational driver training, qualifying as a Military Engineer (Driver) in April 2011.
His first years in the Army were spent at 21 Engineer Regiment in Ripon, North Yorkshire, where he qualified as a Class 1 Royal Engineer Driver and deployed to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 17 in 2012-13. Successfully selected for promotion he moved to 26 Engineer Regiment in Perham Down, Wiltshire where he served as a motor transport Lance Corporal within 38 Headquarters and Support Squadron. He was responsible for allocating drivers to tasks on daily driving details as well as scheduling maintenance and repairs for the Regiment’s large fleet of wheeled vehicles.
Popular and hard-working, Lance Corporal Partridge was at the hub of the Regiment and was always to be seen out in the vehicle park ensuring that his vehicles were in good condition and ready for the next task. A genuine expert in the complex area of motor transport management, he was well known across the Regiment for his frank advice and his ability to find a vehicle for every last-minute important job.
Whilst at 26 Engineer Regiment he deployed to Canada, supporting armoured engineer training and construction exercises as well as deploying in support of UK operations. He recently achieved a long-held ambition to commence training as an Army diver, successfully completed his Junior Commanders Course, and had just been selected for promotion to Corporal.
Lance Corporal Partridge loved sport and fitness. A regular in the Regiment’s Gym every evening, he was also a talented sportsman who had represented the Regimental Rugby Team and the Army as part of the Under 23 Army Football squad. He also tried his hand at luge ice sports where he represented the Corps.
The loss of such a popular and capable soldier is hard felt by his Squadron, the Regiment and the Corps, as well as everyone in the wider Army who had the privilege of working with him. He will be remembered fondly by his many friends and colleagues throughout the Corps. He leaves behind his wife Zoe, who is expecting their first child, parents Alyson and Stephen and siblings Lucy and Ben.
Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster said:
It is with great sadness we must confirm the death of Lance Corporal George Partridge. It’s clear from the testaments of his colleagues that he had a bright future in the Army and was held in the highest regard. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this extremely difficult time.
Lance Corporal Ash Skerten said:
If I could be half the man he was I would be proud, he was the best soldier.
Corporal Anthony Matthews said:
George was a motivated and determined individual, who was a role model to all those around him. His peers also looked up to him and would come to him for advice. He was a family-orientated man who was looking forward to starting his family with wife Zoe. He was both a physically and mentally fit person who relished any challenge thrown in his direction.
Sergeant Chris Brignull said:
I have had the honour and pleasure of knowing LCpl George Partridge for well over 2 years now, from the start he was an outstanding character and a great role model for younger Sappers within the troop.
George had a very calm and collected approach to everything he did, robust and professional during all tasks put his way, which he always tackled head on. He was a true leader and had the potential to progress through all ranks. Well liked throughout the whole Regiment and Corps, he will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. Royal Engineers like George are a special type of person who are hard to find.
His Troop Commander, Lt David Thornett said:
Lance Corporal George Partridge was a gift to me as a Troop Commander. He had everything that I could have expected of a Junior Non Commissioned Officer. He could always be relied upon to carry out a task to the best of his ability and to get the best out the individuals who were working for him. Having already been selected to promote to Corporal, I have no doubt he would have climbed through the ranks with ease and had a very successful Army career. On top of this he was genuinely a good bloke who knew how to make people laugh, he will be sorely missed.
His Squadron Commander, Major Matt Walker said:
Every member of the Squadron, regardless of rank, looked up to and respected Lance Corporal George Partridge - we all aspire to be as fit, humble and capable as he was. The loss of this epic Junior Non Commissioned Officer leaves a void in the Squadron that can’t be filled.
His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Doyle said:
Quietly determined, hard-working and immensely popular, Lance Corporal George Partridge was an exemplary soldier. Humble but hugely capable, he was always ready to lend a helping hand where it was needed the most and at some point everyone in the Regiment has had cause to be grateful for his ability to find you a car when the vehicle park seemed empty. Our clearest memories of him will always be on the rugby pitch and in the gymnasium, where he was the epitome of a Royal Engineer Junior Non-Commissioned Officer, always pushing himself and his soldiers to the next level, and always with a smile on his face. He will be sorely missed, and our thoughts are with his wife and family at this sad time.