Army captain who died during marathon was planning wedding

The girlfriend of a Scottish army captain who died after collapsing during the London Marathon has told of her devastation after discovering he planned to propose to her.

Sunday, 1st May 2016, 7:34 pm
Updated Sunday, 1st May 2016, 8:42 pm
Captain Seath, pictured with partner Gaby Schoenenberger. Picture: PA
Captain Seath, pictured with partner Gaby Schoenenberger. Picture: PA

Gaby Schoenenberger learned just hours after the death of Afghanistan veteran and Green Beret David Seath that he had asked her father for his blessing.

The 31-year-old, from ­Cowdenbeath, Fife, suffered a cardiac arrest near the 23-mile mark of the race, which he was running to raise money for Help the Heroes, the charity for wounded soldiers. Ms ­Schoenenberger, a fashion designer in Edinburgh, was waiting at the 25-mile mark to cheer on her partner when she received a call from a nurse at the hospital where he had been taken for treatment.

Captain Seath, an officer in the 29 Commando Regiment, part of the Royal Artillery, was on a life support machine when she got there and died a short time later.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Ms Schoenenberger, 29, said: “They came to tell me there was nothing they could do, but they worked on him so much longer than they would’ve ­normally. They did it because he was so young and so fit and it didn’t make sense, they ­really tried.

“I feel as though I’ve died inside. He was everything to me. It is desperately unfair, we had so much to look forward to. The comfort I am taking is that I told him every day that I loved him so much, and he knew that I loved him, and he knew how much he loved me.

“I found out on Sunday night that David had asked my dad for his blessing at Easter when were on a family holiday.

“David was being posted to Afghanistan in July this year for seven months and he was intending on proposing when he got back but he wanted to make sure, to check it with my dad.

”I never wanted to freak him out by talking about marriage but it was obvious for us that we were heading that way. It shows that, without me ever saying anything, he knew how important it would be to me that he ask my dad’s permission. That’s just David, he was such a gentleman.”

Capt Seath, who was based in Plymouth, completed two master’s degrees at Aberdeen University before starting his training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2009.

Captain Seath also leaves behind his parents Libby and Pete, and a brother, Gary. His friends and colleagues have vowed to “complete what he started” by walking the final three miles of the marathon route and continue to raise money for Help for Heroes.

Around £100,000 has been generated in the space of a few days.

A further £75,000 has already been pledged via ­Captain Seath’s own JustGiving page.