England

Mystery soldier in answer phone marriage proposal

Diane Potts
Image caption Ms Potts said the message made her feel emotional

A soldier made an emotional call to his girlfriend asking her to marry him, but left the message on the wrong answer phone.

Instead of "Samantha", the serviceman had mistakenly contacted Diane Potts, an alternative therapist from Tyneside.

She said he was obviously a serving soldier, probably in Afghanistan.

He mentions a friend who had been blown up and tells Samantha he loves her with all his heart, and proposes marriage.

'My little soldier'

The message, from a young man with a North East accent, said: "Couldn't call last month but you know what it is like out there. I will be back in a few months.

"Really, really sad one of the guys has been blown up.

"Speak to you next month. Love you so much, with all my heart, and I was going to ask you, will you marry me?"

Diane Potts, a 44-year-old mother-of-three from Gateshead, said: "I was really quite emotional listening to it.

"It's unclear from the message where he is, but when he makes a reference to a friend blown up I suppose it's likely that he's in Afghanistan.

"He's probably quite oblivious that he left his message on a stranger's phone."

She said that his accent sounded as if he came from the Sunderland or Chester-le-Street area.

'Very personal'

"I have relatives who come from there, and the young men sound the same as he does," she added.

"And the fact he used the local area code might mean Samantha comes from up here.

"It would be wonderful if Samantha or someone who knows her could get in touch."

A spokesman for Task Force Helmand, in Afghanistan, Lieutenant Colonel David Eastman, said the Army was trying to track the soldier down.

He said: "We've contacted all our units and we've asked them to try and find him and see if anyone is out there.

"And obviously if he is, we will try and make sure he gets back in contact."

According to the Ministry of Defence, all British soldiers in Afghanistan have access to a satellite phone to make calls home, even those in the most remote areas, and can use up to 30 minutes' call time each week.

A British Army spokeswoman added: "It's a very personal message and he's probably a little embarrassed about what he's done, and about the publicity surrounding it."

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