As reported, paramedics were called to the scene at 4.45pm on Tuesday by shocked passers-by, where they tried desperately to revive Mr Foxton but it was too late. Eye-witnesses described hearing a loud bang and screams.

Sixty-five-year-old Mr Foxton, who was made an MBE by the Queen for services to the disabled, was a well-known face in the city, regularly walking his dog around the neighbourhood.

During his distinguished career he served with the French Foreign Legion before joining the British Army in 1968 and working his way from captain to major.

During combat in 1975, Mr Foxton lost an arm, which was later replaced with a metal artificial arm and hook. He left the Army in 1986.

Mr Foxton, a father-of-two with two small grandchildren, spent the rest of his career working in defence, with time spent working for the United Nations.

During much of the 1990s and early parts of 2000, Mr Foxton worked in the Balkans, where he was the head of the European Commission Monitoring Mission during the Yugosla-vian wars. His work there earned him an OBE in 1999.

His last overseas mission saw him working in Afghanistan, running humanitarian projects until his retirement in November last year.

Willard, who heard of his father’s apparent suicide in a phone call from his aunt, told how his father had revealed that he had lost all the cash and was contemplating making himself bankrupt just weeks before his death.

Willard, 28, told the Daily Echo: “He told me all about the family savings – that he’d lost the money. But I didn’t think he would do something like this. I don’t know how much it was – there is no definite figure I can put on it. My guess is that it would have been six- or seven-figure sums but it would be foolish to assume an accurate amount.”

Paying tribute to his father, Willard added: “He was a very courageous man, very decent, amusing and charismatic. One of the things I took from him was his love for holding court and telling stories.

“He had an excellent taste in restaurants and wine and when we would meet up we would often share a few drinks and go to a country pub. He had just retired but he was always at his happiest when he was overseas doing things for others.”