A WOMAN whose fiancé tragically died overseas is raising money to help with the cost of bringing her partner home.

Louise Lathbury has set up a fundraiser to try and get her 36-year-old fiancé Julian 'Jay' Thorn home after he died in a road traffic accident in Ukraine.

Jay was helping the army take back the country from Russian soldiers.

Louise learned about the crash on Sunday, May 21 - and was later told that any costs to bring Jay home would need to be covered by her, after the hostilities in Ukraine made the insurance 'invalid'.

Jay met Louise in Reading in 2019 at their then-local pub, where a topic of cars - specifically BMWs - helped them fall in love with each other.

The pair then returned home to Hexham in 2020, Jay's favourite place and hometown. He also ran a pub in Allendale.

Hexham Courant:

Treasuring his memory, Louise said: "Julian was known to most people as Jay. He was an animal lover and he rescued a number of animals throughout his life.

"I always remember how on the way back from the pub it would take us double the amount of time because we had to stop and collect toads and hedgehogs in the road.

"We met in our then-local pub in Reading, our first conversation being about cars, specifically BMWs, which was another love of his.

"That was the start of our relationship which grew from there.

"We moved up to Hexham a year later, so he could be back in the place he loved, and the only place he really called home. His favourite place in the world was Hadrian's Wall as he loved the history, location and everything to do with it.

"He was a believer in doing the right thing, so much so he went to the Ukraine to support, knowing his skill as a British army veteran would be of some use.

"On Sunday evening his boss in the Ukraine called me to let me know that Jay had died in a road traffic accident.

"I still can’t quite believe that he is gone and won’t see or hear him again. He has been taken away from me too soon.

"I love and miss him."