Devon PCSO Killed in Afghanistan

29 year old Mark Marshall was killed on Sunday after a roadside bomb detonated while he was on patrol in Helmand Province.

He was serving with 6th Battalion the Rifles but was primarily a Police Community Support Officer based in Exeter.

Rifleman Marshall was a point man in his patrol, responsible for clearing improvised explosive devices. He died while on a routine patrol near Sangin.

His mum Lynn said: "I am hugely proud of my dear and beloved son; he lived life to the full and will be sorely missed by all.''

Listen to Commanding Officer of the 6th Battalion the Rifles Lt. Col. Tim House speaking at a tribute at Wyvern Barracks here.

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, Commanding Officer, 3 Rifles Battle Group, said he was an inspiration, "Rifleman Marshall was one of the willing band of volunteers who signed up to join the Battle Group on what they knew would be a most challenging tour.

"From the moment he arrived with his company he had the respect and friendship of them all.

"A policeman by day and talented soldier by night, he epitomised everything that is great about our reserve forces and the men and women who serve in them.''

In his work as a PCSO he served in Exeter within the Priory and latterly Countess Wear and Topsham neighbourhood policing teams.

Devon district commander Chief Superintendent Jo Tennant said, "Mark was one of our most experienced PCSOs and will be hugely missed by all his colleagues across Exeter and by the communities he was so proud to serve.

“His work with young people was very much appreciated by all those he came into contact with; he had the ability to motivate and inspire youngsters and he really enjoyed his work with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme. 

“Mark was a great character and an important part of our team.  We would like to send our sincere condolences to Mark's family at this very sad time."

Exeter Neighbourhood Inspector Brent Davison has also been paying tribute, “Mark was an absolute gentleman who always surpassed expectations. He was an excellent PCSO and would have made a superb Police Officer which he aspired to. 

“Mark was always smiling and particularly enjoyed helping young people. I remember being present at a Duke Of Edinburgh awards ceremony, where the recipients were young people from Mark`s patch who Mark and colleagues had mentored. 

“He made such a difference to those young people and his legacy will go on with them. He was rightly proud of these young people and they, in common with the rest of Mark`s community, thoroughly respected him. Mark will be very sadly missed by all who had the pleasure of meeting him.”

261 British Service Personnel have now died in the country since the start of the conflict in 2001.