EMOTIONAL tributes have been paid to a former Royal Marine who was killed in a tragic accident in Rhu on Sunday.

Chris Moses, 37, from Cardross, died suddenly while undertaking work as a professional tree surgeon in the village’s Artarman Road.

Mr Moses, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan during 13 years in the Marines, in which he reached the rank of acting Lieutenant Colonel, was also the president of Helensburgh Amateur Athletics Club and a teacher at Vale of Leven Academy in Alexandria.

His sister Amy Moses said: "He was an amazing brother. He was a positive force for life, a force for good and lived several life times in his 37 years.

"He was my younger brother but in many ways he was older, he was wise and someone I went to for advice."

Mr Moses, who was born and raised in Plymouth, enrolled in the Royal Marines in 2005 and completed officer training at Lympstone before being posted to Scotland two years later, where he met his future wife Joanne.

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His father Rob added: "Chris was never afraid of hard work. He worked hard in everything he did.

"A dad couldn't be more proud of his son.

"He believed in everybody and was always there for others.

"He believed everyone was capable of everything, everyone was capable of maths - and everyone was capable of anything they put their mind to. He wanted people to believe in themselves, he wanted everyone to succeed."

He married Joanne in 2012 in an intimate ceremony with friends and family in the couple's back garden.

"He loved her to bits," Amy added.

Close friend Kevin Johnson, who worked with Mr Moses as a fellow director of the annual Babcock Helensburgh 10K race, told the Advertiser: “Chris was an outstanding young man in the prime of his life, active and generous on so many fronts.

“As president of Helensburgh Athletics Club he displayed his natural leadership qualities in abundance and led from the front and worked with me on organising the Babcock Helensburgh 10K.

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“He delivered everything, as you would expect, with quiet efficiency and military precision, but always with a laugh and a joke and a smile on his face.

“Chris knew how to motivate and lead by example, whether it was his troop of Royal Marines or a group of club volunteers and youngsters.”

The family say Chris was a talented former semi-pro footballer who had trials with Crystal Palace as a youngster.

He studied maths at Bath University and tutored school students in his free time.

After moving to Scotland, he won medals in the Dunbartonshire Cross-Country Championships, and once joined a friend in cycling between Britain’s three highest mountains before running up each of them.

During his service in the Marines he was responsible for the management of the naming ceremony of the Royal Navy’s biggest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, at Rosyth in July 2014 – an event attended by the Queen, then Prime Minister David Cameron, and the First Sea Lord.

Mr Johnson continued: “He was an equally committed and loving husband to Joanne, a clinical director in a veterinary practice.

“Joanne is a talented horsewoman and three day eventer, who twice qualified for the grassroots championships at the Badminton Horse Trials.

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“Chris was just as happy as groom, stable boy and driver supporting Joanne as he was pursuing his own sporting ambitions and adventures.

“Chris was dearly loved and respected in equal measure by the Marines he led, his fellow officers, pupils and colleagues at work and the club members that he inspired with such affection and praise.

“Chris touched the hearts of everyone he met, made a positive impact on their lives and put a smile on their faces.

“He was a great man of humility, integrity and compassion, and one who will be sadly missed but never forgotten.”

After leaving the Marines, Mr Moses retrained as a maths teacher and had worked at the Vale of Leven Academy since early 2019.

He tutored youngsters in the evening and ran his own tree surgery business, Easy As One Two Tree, at weekends and during school holidays.

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A spokesperson for HM Naval Base Clyde said: “Chris was a dedicated Royal Marine who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan as well as with 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group at HM Naval Base Clyde.

“His death has come as a shock to those of us at the Naval Base who had the privilege to work alongside him over the years and he will be sadly missed.

“The thoughts and sympathies of the Naval Service go out to his family and friends at this extremely difficult time.”

Matthew Boyle, head teacher at Vale of Leven Academy, said: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Chris, and everyone in the school is finding this difficult to comprehend.

“The thoughts of our whole school community are with Chris’s family and friends at this devastating time.

“Chris had been working at the Academy for almost a year, initially as a student and then as a probationer.

“He was bright, cheerful, and passionate about his new career in teaching, and his chosen subject, maths.

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“He was a lovely man and will be missed both by colleagues and the pupils he worked with across the school.

“We’ve held assemblies in school for each year group to pass on the sad news and our pastoral care team is on hand for any young person who needs support.

“We’re also working closely with staff to support them.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We received a report of a sudden death at Artarman Road, Rhu, around 3.35pm on Sunday, January 12.

“A 37-year-old man has died and his death is being treated as non-suspicious.

“A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.”

Mr Moses is survived by Joanne, by his parents, who still live in Devon, and by two sisters.

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