Hero Ollie Hall stood up and was counted: would you?

We live in an age which has become dominated by terror attacks, both at home and on mainland Europe.

Thursday, 21st June 2018, 6:00 am

So frequent have they become that most of us watching the latest horror unfold in the comfort of our living rooms simply shake our heads in despair and then get on with life.

The majority of us do nothing. Ollie Hall, from Gosport, was different.

When he watched coverage of last year’s appalling Manchester Arena bombing which killed 22 and left more than 800 physically or psychologically damaged, he decided enough was enough, volunteered to fight Islamic State and quickly began work clearing unexploded ordnance.

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He died in November searching for booby trap bombs in Syria and, as we report today, has been hailed a hero by Portsmouth coroner David Horsley.

There will be those who consider Mr Hall’s actions foolhardy, perhaps reckless.

In this area, because of the legacy of the Second World War, we all too frequently see and admire the work of naval bomb and mine disposal teams – men and women who have trained for years for a job few of us would ever consider.

Mr Horsley was right when he said Mr Hall was ‘an outstanding example of courage and self-sacrifice to whoever hears his story’.

Motivated by anger and a burning desire to help people whose lives and families had been torn apart, he stood up and was counted.

How appropriate it is that some, hopefully long-lasting, good will come of his death – water for an entire village and desperately-needed cash for an orphanage.

Ollie Hall had the courage of his convictions and paid the ultimate price. How many of us would have done the same?