THE family and friends of a former soldier who died in an accident on a farm have paid tribute to him.

Dean Henderson-Smith, 46, died last Thursday after falling through a barn roof at Great Park Farm, near Besselsleigh.

His partner Sacha said: “Dean was my soulmate, best friend, partner and ray of light.

“What little time I had with my sweetheart was filled with happiness, love and joy and I will hold those memories in my heart forever.”

His stepson Jake Henderson-Smith added: “There is no definitive way to describe my dad. I can confidently say that he was the happiest, bubbliest, most charismatic man I have ever met.

“Not only have I lost my dad, I have lost my best friend.”

Mr Henderson-Smith, of High Street, Long Wittenham, joined the former Royal Corps of Transport aged 18. The regiment later became part of the Royal Logistic Corps and he was based at Abingdon. He served in the Army for 22 years and reached the rank of Sergeant Major, serving in Germany, Kuwait, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Friends of Mr Henderson said: “Dean was a friend, son, partner and dad. A fantastic, lovely, special, thoughtful and considerate man and everyone who knew him has lost something special.”

Police and the Health & Safety Executive are investigating his death.