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Former marine found dead in Hawkhurst may have been suffering from PTSD

A former marine, founded suspended in woods, may have been suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), an inquest heard.

Michael Gask, a father of three from Hawkhurst, was at a party when he became emotional and suddenly ran off.

Michael Gask was employed by FHN UK
Michael Gask was employed by FHN UK

Police were alerted by concerned friends and relatives and a search, that included the use of a helicopter, found his body just before 7pm on Sunday, December 15, off Highgate Hill in Hawkhurst.

Mr Gask, 43, of Cranbrook Road, Hawkhurst, who was known as "Fergy," had retired from the Royal Marines with the rank of Sergeant after 18 years' service. He had told his wife Rebecca that he was receiving counselling for his PTSD, but apparently that was not true and he had not been officially diagnosed.

He left the Royal Marines in 2010 after tours of duty in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.

He had since been employed by the firearms and ammunition company FN Herstal UK. A post mortem determined the cause of death as suspension.

Mr Gask had been a popular rugby coach with Cranbrook Rugby Club, where he was described as a larger-than-life figure.

A JustGiving page set up by his friends James Parkinson and Martin Allison has already raised more than £21,000 to support his family.

Click here to donate.

Coroner Roger Hatch adjourned the inquest for a full hearing at a later date, as yet undetermined.

For confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans on 116 123 at any time.

To read about the Armed Forces and how they have served Kent and beyond, click here.


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