Tragedy as fiancee opened Valentine's card from soldier on Afghan frontline... and hours later was told he has been killed
Paratrooper's father speaks of the family's ongoing grief as his first anniversary approaches
The couple had just bought a house and had been due to get married in June last year
Kyle Marshall had been offered 'double his wages' to stay at a Tyneside tile shop but felt he had 'unfinished business' with the Army
By Daily Mail Reporter
The heartbreaking story of a woman who was told her solider fiance had been killed in Afghanistan on Valentine's Day has today emerged.
Hayley Fisk had been excited to receive a Valentine's Day card from Paratrooper Kyle Marshall last year.
But her joy soon turned to heartache after soldiers arrived at her door to tell her the 24-year-old from Howdon, North Tyneside, had been killed after stepping on an explosive planted by the Taliban.
Today the soldier's father Gary has spoken of the family's ongoing grief as his first anniversary approaches.
The 47-year-old's had taken charge of his squadron for just a matter of minutes before he was killed in Helmand Province on February 14 last year.
Tragic: Hayley Fisk, right, was delighted to receive a Valentine's Day card from soldier fiance Kyle Marshall, left, but joy turned to heartbreak when moments later, she was told he had been killed in Afghanistan
Just before his death, he had discovered a huge explosives factory and had helped airlift a comrade to safety after coming under attack.
Mr Marshall, a taxi driver said how his daughter-in-law-to-be Hayley had not been able to sleep the night before his son died.
'She phoned in sick to work and that morning she got a Valentineís Day card through the letterbox,'' Mr Marshall said.
'She said she sat down and then she saw two figures at the door.'
Mr Marshall had been transferring money into Kyle's account for his wedding when the soldiers knocked at his door.
'They knocked and came in and I just said, "Heís dead isnít he?" Mr Marshall said. 'I went numb.
I put my head in my hands and I said, "Theyíve killed my boy"'.
Mr Marshall, who is separated from his son's mother, Olwyn, said telling her was 'one of the worst things I've ever had to do.'
'How do you tell a woman her son has been killed?,' he said.
Hero: Paratrooper Marshall had just led his squadron to find what is believed to be the biggest explosives factory in Afghanistan before he was killed, ironically, by an explosive planted by the Taliban
Mr Marshall had seen his son 12 days before he was killed. The Paratrooper had just bought a house with Miss Fisk after moving to a base in Colchester and the pair had planned to tie the knot on June 30 last year.
'Some days are better than others,' Mr Marshall said. 'Hayley puts on a brave face for me and I do
the same for her. You will never forget though. He was not just my son, he was my best mate. We did all sorts together.
'He loved sport and we used to go to Newcastle United games together. Even when he moved to Colchester we used to go to the odd game.
'His mates in the Army called him the loud Geordie. He was always playing tricks and if there was any fun to be had he was at the centre of it.
'But as soon as he was on patrol he was completely switched on and he used to
look after the young soldiers,' he added.
Return: Despite being offered 'double his wages' if he stayed at a Tyneside tile store, paratrooper Marshall felt like 'he had unfinished business,' his father Gary said, so returned to the Army
Paratrooper Marshall had joined the Army when he was 16 and did his basic training in Harrogate before going to work at Ceramic Tile Distributors in Tyneside.
But despite being offered 'double his wages' if he stayed at the tile store, paratrooper Marshall decided to return to what he loved.
'He felt like he hadnít completed something, like he had unfinished business,' his father said.
The 24-year-old was on his second tour of duty when he was killed. He had been part of an intelligence-gathering patrol which had just discovered what is believed to be the largest factory in Afghanistan, according to an inquest.
During the mission Paratrooper Marshall's squadron had come under fire three times. When his corporal was wounded he had taken charge.
Images of his final movements were captured on a camera strapped to his helmet, but his family have not yet seen the footage.
Another member of the team - standing just yards from Paratrooper Marshall - suffered horrific
burns to his body and was airlifted to hospital for lifesaving treatment.
'Thereís no doubt discovering the factory saved many lives, but itís still heartbreaking that he was killed,' Mr Marshall said.
'Kyle wanted to be there and we just had to let him go.'
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