The Telegraph, , 18 June 2017
Two soldiers who died after ammunition is believed to have exploded inside their tank have been described as “exceptionally talented”.
Cpl Matthew Hatfield and Cpl Darren Neilson, of the Royal Tank Regiment, died after an explosion inside their vehicle during a live firing exercise earlier this week.
Two other soldiers remain in a serious condition in hospital.
Lt Col Simon Ridgway, commanding officer of regiment, said the soldiers “loved what they did” and the unit had “lost two real characters and feels truly honoured to have served with them”.
“They will both be sorely missed,” he added.
Both men were fathers. Cpl Hatfield, aged 27, was engaged with a young daughter and lived in Everleigh, Wiltshire.
Cpl Neilson, aged 30, was from Blackburn, Lancs, and was married with a young daughter.
Tank firing exercises have been temporarily banned after the incident during training at Castlemartin Ranges in Pembrokeshire.
The four-man crew of the Challenger 2 main battle tank was firing 120mm practice shells at targets on the Castlemartin Ranges in Pembrokeshire when the explosion occurred.
Army sources said the blast was believed to be “ammunition related”.
Each practice shell has a dummy warhead, but the same propelling charge as a combat shell.