The Kurdish community has paid its respects to a ‘heroic’ Gosport man who died fighting Islamic State in Syria after his body was repatriated to the UK today.
In a show of deep gratitude, the UK’s Kurdish Community Centre joined his mother Jane Lyndon, 53, at Heathrow Airport after he made his final journey home to emotional scenes with well-wishers.
Crowds of people paid their respects and chanted as Ollie’s body was held in an ambulance via special convoy at Heathrow for a few minutes.
A minute's silence was also observed.
The 24-year-old returned home a hero after he had been fighting in Raqqa for Kurdish force the YPG against Islamic State fighters since August.
Ollie, a former student of Bay House School, was killed in an explosion in November after checking for any threats at a refugee's house.
Mark Campbell, the co-chair of the Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign, said: ‘We’re here today to welcome and pay our respects to Ollie Hall who fell fighting against Islamic State.
‘Ollie joined forces with the Kurd force YPG in August and in November after liberation of its headquarters in Raqqa was killed in a selfless act as he cleared a house of civilians.
‘We’re here today to pay homage to the memory of Ollie and welcome him home and pay our respects.’
In a statement the Kurdish Community Centre added: ‘Our heroes UK volunteers Jac Holmes and Oliver Hall joined YPG To fight the barbaric Isis and fought heroically for humanity, love and peace and Martyred in Raqqa while rescuing civilians and families.’
Ollie travelled to Syria from his home in August last year and joined the YPG’s mandatory month-long training programme, in which new recruits learn basic Kurdish, weaponry and battlefield tactics on top of a crash course in the socialist and feminist ideology of the YPG.
Kurdistan Bulent Bingol, who came out to pay his respects, said: ‘Ollie was really brave and died fighting not just for our struggle but for the struggle of humanity.
‘He did more than any western government did to help us. We are so grateful.’