TRIBUTES have been paid to two soldiers killed in a crash on a North Yorkshire road, who have today been named.

Trooper Mark McKeen, 23, from Northern Ireland, and 20-year-old Private Codie Richardson, from Stockton-on-Tees, died when their Seat Ibiza crashed near Catterick Garrison on Saturday night.

Speaking on behalf of The Royal Dragoon Guards, Major Hugh Pearce-Gould, Officer Commanding B (The Black Horse) Squadron, said: “Trooper Mark McKeen was a well-rounded individual and a first-class soldier.

"His loss will be keenly felt by all who knew him. He was a popular and engaging member of the Regiment. He served with great courage and dedication on two difficult and dangerous tours of Afghanistan.

“His untimely loss is a terrible tragedy, but his memory will always be cherished by The Royal Dragoon Guards and those of us fortunate enough to have known him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

“Private Codie Richardson had only been with the Regiment for five months, but had made a very positive impression on both her squadron and the catering department. Outgoing, keen and personable, she was always willing to take on new challenges.

“She embraced being in a cavalry regiment and seized the opportunity to take up horse riding. She was also a very caring, considerate person and always put the needs of others first. Our deepest sympathies are with her family and friends at this difficult time. She will be greatly missed by the Regiment.”

Trooper McKeen was driving the Seat at the time, with Private Richardson being his passenger. Dates for the two soldiers' inquests have yet to be fixed.