THE body of a Chichester chef who died after travelling to Syria to fight against the Islamic State has arrived back at Heathrow Airport.
Dozens of people, including members of the Kurdish community, held roses and framed pictures of Ryan Lock as his body was repatriated to the UK.
Mr Lock, who attended Warblington School in Havant, died in an offensive by anti-IS forces in a bid to retake the northern city of Raqqa, considered to be the terrorist group’s de facto capital.
The 20-year-old, who had no previous military experience, joined Kurdish militia after telling his family he was going on holiday to Turkey in August.
The People’s Defence Units (YPG), a Kurdish military force, told Mr Lock’s family he died along with other fighters last December.
Then later it publicly emerged that he turned the gun on himself to avoid falling captive to IS and being held as a propaganda tool.
A military ceremony attended by dozens of pro-Kurdish fighters, representatives from political parties and NGOs was held in Rojava last month.
Photographs of the ceremony showed a coffin displaying a photograph of Mr Lock and a Union flag surrounded by armed militia.
As the body of Mr Lock arrived in the UK, tributes were paid to him.
Supporters of the YPJ female-fighting force said his ‘memory will forever live on in our struggle for the freedom of Syria and our hope for change in the whole world’.
YPG general command member Mihyedin Xirki had previously said Mr Lock was a ‘martyr’ who died ‘putting up a brave fight’.