THE family of Lance Corporal Kyle Cleet Marshall paid tribute to the paratrooper this week as he was laid to rest after his death in Afghanistan two weeks ago.
L/Cpl Marshall, originally from Wallsend, was killed by an improvised explosive device following an engagement with enemy forces near the village of Padaka in Helmand Province.
The 23-year-old, pictured, a member of the Parachute Regiment’s 2nd Battalion, was taking part in a mission to hold ground near a newly-occupied military checkpoint to deter attacks by insurgents.
His funeral took place on Wednesday at St Peter’s Church in North Hill, Colchester, his home town in recent years.
In a statement released on the day of his funeral, his family said: “Kyle was a very special young man who had his whole life ahead of him and so much to look forward to.
“It is perhaps this part of his premature death that we find so difficult to accept.
“Many of his superiors and colleagues have spoken of Kyle as a force to be reckoned with and a great leader of men who had a tremendous future ahead of him.
“To us, his family, he was an outgoing kid who grew into a confident and cheerful young man who made us laugh at every opportunity.
“We were thrilled when he met and fell in love with Hayley, and we were really looking forward to their wedding in July.
“They loved each other to bits, and we have no doubt that they would have made a wonderful, successful life together.
“We were obviously devastated to hear the news of Kyle’s death, and it has been a massive shock to all his family to try to adjust to this horrendous news.
“If Kyle had been able to make a choice regarding the way he died, then we are sure he would have chosen this. He died doing a job he loved.
“As a family, we can’t stress this enough – that Kyle lived and breathed the Parachute Regiment.
“He never, ever wanted to do anything else. He died surrounded by his friends and comrades, and it brings us great comfort to know that his Para family were with him in his final moments.
“As a family, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kind thoughts, prayers and offers of support at this very difficult time. It means a lot.”
L/Cpl Marshall, a former student at Wallsend’s Churchill Community College, had been in Afghanistan since October.