A rifleman killed in an explosion proposed to his girlfriend on the day he flew out to Afghanistan, his mother has said.
Philip Allen, from 2nd Battalion The Rifles — who are based at Ballykinler, Co Down, called to ask his “soulmate” Karina Pharoah to marry him at the end of September as he sat in Brize Norton airport in Oxfordshire, and she accepted.
They planned to buy an engagement ring when he returned in December on Miss Pharoah's 19th birthday and marry in 2011 before his next tour of Afghanistan.
But the 20-year-old, from Verwood, Dorset, was killed by an improvised explosive device near Sangin in central Helmand on Saturday, November 7.
His platoon was conducting a routine reassurance and ground clearance patrol.
Karen Charman-Allen, his mother, told the Daily Echo in Bournemouth: “It's very hard to express how we feel; words are insufficient, the sense of grief is indescribable.”