Marine killed in explosion was a ‘wonderful dad’

City bomb team are praised

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THE family of a Royal Marine killed in an explosion in Afghanistan has paid tribute to his ‘zest for life’.

Marine Sam Alexander, 28, had spent his childhood growing up in Hamble, where his parents still live, and went to school in Titchfield.

He and colleague Lieutenant Ollie Augustin, 23, from Kent, were killed on Friday when they were caught in a blast from an improvised explosive device. The men were both in 42 Commando Royal Marines.

Mne Alexander’s father, Stuart, said: ‘He was a great guy with a great smile and a zest for life. I loved him very much.’

Mne Alexander, who lived in Plymouth, was awarded the military cross in 2009 after saving the life of a wounded colleague by charging at the Taliban with his pistol to provide cover.

His wife Claire, the mother of his one-year-old son, said: ‘Sam was so special. He was the gentlest of men but tough when he needed to be. He risked his safety for his friends but never batted an eyelid. Sam was a loving husband and a wonderful father. He was our rock and my best friend. He has been taken from me all too soon.’