VIDEO: Family of Leyland marine speak of their grief in new film

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The story of a Leyland marine killed in action is told in a new award-winning film.

The story of a Leyland marine killed in action is told in a new award-winning film.

Leyland marine Paul Warren

Leyland marine Paul Warren

Paul Warren was killed in a Taliban grenade attack in 2010 when he was just 23-years-old.

The former Balshaw’s High School pupil was in Helmand Province during his second tour in Afghanistan, when the grenade was thrown into the compound.

A new short film called ‘The Real Cost of War’ features Paul’s parents Cliff and Lynn, who talk about their ‘brave’ son and the help they received following his untimely death.

It was produced by the Forces Support charity to highlight the ‘real cost of war’ to a parent and to illustrate how it supports grieving families.

Cliff and Lynn Warren

Cliff and Lynn Warren

Cliff said: “It’s a very personal message, but I think a lot of families who have gone through what we have will understand the sentiment.

“It’s aimed really at people who don’t know how it feels.

“It’s always in our minds, every day. They say time heals, but it doesn’t; it’s different when you lose a son or daughter.

“You try to get on with your life, but you can’t really. It’s very hard to explain.”

He added: “The Forces Support charity wanted to do something to make an impact. They commissioned the film and asked us to take part.

“With it coming up to Remembrance Day, we wanted to make people think about how families are affected all year round.

“The general public doesn’t get that same feeling of loss.”

In the documentary, which has won the Online Film Festival award for a short film, Cliff describes the day the family were told of Paul’s death.

“They sent uniformed marines and a priest to the house,” he says. “They didn’t have to knock on the door, I could see them getting out of the cars and suddenly it ripped my heart out, because I knew.”

He adds: “‘Proud’ doesn’t do it justice ... I couldn’t imagine the things he had to do; ‘brave’ and ‘proud’ are small words.

“Paul never really told us exactly what he was doing, and how dangerous it was. Although we knew it was dangerous.

“When he passed his commando course, there was a bit of trepidation on my part, but I was proud that he’d passed because it was a very, very tough course.

“He volunteered to find the IEDs (improvised explosive device) so the other lads wouldn’t get injured ... every time he went out, he always got the lads back safe, back to base.”

Paul’s older brother Neil also talks about how the tragedy has affected the family: “I knew it was always a possibility, but that doesn’t set you up for dealing with the aftermath of it.

“It’s taken a few years to really come to terms with it, and it’s been hard.”

Fighting back tears, he adds: “There are moments when I think I should have been there for him ... but he was in the military, a thousand miles away.”

Earlier this year, the Forces Support charity visited the Warren family home in Ingleborough Way to refurbish the back garden and include a memorial arbour for Paul.

Cliff adds: “In the 18 months after, we had a lot of support from the Royal Marines, but after that, you’re on your own.

“We were going to do the back garden before Paul was killed, and then we just didn’t have the heart.”

The dad-of-three explains that their garden was a place which Paul used to love socialising with friends and family in, and that doing something special there in Paul’s memory has really helped the family move forward.

“The garden was a big stumbling block for us because it was something we kept seeing and it got us down,” he says. “The charity has highlighted that we need to slightly move on.”

He also told the Evening Post that it was comforting to see their son Neil speak about how he felt in the film.

“Neil was our rock at the time,” he said. “It was nice to hear his comments because he never really talks about it.

“The garden has helped us all in that way, it’s helped us open up a bit.

“It’s not just about me and Lynn, it’s about Paul’s brothers Neil and Richard, and all of the family.”