The family of an off duty soldier from Eastbourne who was killed in a 1,000 feet fall while climbing in the Italian Alps last week have spoken of their devastation at his death.
Thirty-year-old David Martin, a former Willingdon School pupil, is believed to have slipped and fallen over a cliff on Mont Blanc as he started a descent.
His body was recovered by an Italian Rescue Team and his family hope he will be repatriated back to the UK by the end of this week.
On Wednesday his parents Bernard and Rowena Martin, who live in Lower Willingdon, paid tribute to their son, who was a Lieutenant in the Royal Logistics Corps attached to the Royal Marines.
“We were and are very proud indeed of our dearly loved and loving son David who was taken from us by a tragic accident on Mont Blanc,” the couple said.
“He cared deeply for his family and friends and was loved by many for his generosity, loyalty and spirit of adventure.
“David lived life to the full every moment, whether socialising with friends, engaging in some new adventure, testing himself to his limits and beyond, or raising funds for charity by taking part in a triathlon, climbing Kilimanjaro, or organising a pub crawl of Santas.
“He wanted to enter the London Marathon and to swim the Channel and had many other ambitions which will sadly not now be realised.
“He was deeply committed to his career as a lieutenant in the Royal Logistics Corps attached to the Royal Marines and was proud of his green Commando beret.
“Whatever he attempted he would never give up and would always compete to the very best of his ability.
“His family have been greatly comforted by, and wish to record our gratitude for, all the tributes, messages of love and sympathy and offers of help and support which we have received.
“We should be grateful for any written memories of David from those who knew him and donations in his memory can be made to Help for Heroes at www.bmycharity.com/BlondieDave.”
David was born in Eastbourne and went to Willingdon primary and secondary schools before studying civil engineering at Exeter University.
In recent years he worked as a ski resort manager in Switzerland before joining the armed forces two years ago.
No date has yet been set for David’s funeral but arrangements will be carried out by the Co-op Funeral Services in Polegate and anyone wishing to send his parents their memories of David can do so though the funeral home.