A former Royal Marine who got engaged last month has been killed in a climbing accident in the French Alps. Duncan Potts, 28, from Devon, died while climbing with his friend in the Mont Blanc range near Chamonix.

The Telegraph reported the rock came loose under his hands and he fell from 3m (9ft). The rock was said to be "as big as a car boot" that hit him on the head and shoulders. His friend alerted the mountain rescue team but he died at the scene.

Rescuer commandant Stephane Bozon told the paper: "It looks like he died instantly judging from the amount of blood at the scene."

Col Kevin Oliver, from the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines in Lympstone, Devon, said: "We are saddened to hear of the death of Duncan Potts, an ex-member of the Royal Marines family and a mountain leader.

"We knew him as a fine young man who was a credit to the service, who left having achieved much in his career. The thoughts and sympathies of those that knew him go out to his family and friends."

The Foreign Office said it was providing consular assistance to his family.

His fiancée April Lawson paid tribute to her 'soul mate', who was planning to be a physiotherapist, said: "I always will love you and you will remain in my heart forever. You mean the world to me and are my life.

"I'm truly grateful for the time we had together. My kind-hearted, handsome gentleman."