THE devastated mother of a Gosport man who died fighting Islamic State in Syria wept as her son’s body was repatriated to the UK.
Jane Lyndon, 53, of Lee-on-the-Solent, watched with pride alongside her family as her son Ollie Hall, 24, returned home a hero for his final journey at Heathrow Airport yesterday.
A special convoy with Ollie’s body inside stopped briefly outside the airport as people paid their respects.
There was also a one minute’s silence.
Ollie had travelled to the terrorist group’s former capital Raqqa in August last year to serve for Kurdish force the YPG against Islamic State fighters.
Ollie, a former student of Bay House School, was killed in an explosion in November after checking for any threats at a refugee house.
An emotional Jane, who was at Heathrow Airport to welcome her son home alongside the Kurdish Community Centre, said: ‘We are so overwhelmed by the incredible turn out today.
‘There were so many people who came out to show their support and we are so grateful. It was a fitting send off for my brave hero.
‘I’m just so proud of him for what he did.
‘He said he had found his purpose and wanted to make a difference.
‘That was truly appreciated today, especially by the Kurds who are such lovely and passionate people.’
In a show of deep gratitude, Jane was joined at Heathrow Airport by the UK’s Kurdish Community Centre, which was also paying its respects to Jac Holmes - another British citizen, from Bournemouth, killed fighting in Syria.
A statement from the centre read: ‘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.’
Mark Campbell, the co-chairman 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.’
His mother Jane has called Ollie a ‘hero’ and spoke out after initial reports after his death claimed he was clearing mines.
His actions of going into the refugee’s home to check for bombs has earned him the respect from Kurdish people.
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.’
Earlier this week Jane said: ‘‘His actions over the months he worked there would have saved many more lives due to his bravery.
‘He risked his life and his freedom, put himself in harm’s way to help strangers.
‘His commander expressed that he was liked by everyone and a tragic loss for all that knew him.
‘Even though we are immensely proud of Ollie and he is our hero, I would never want another family to go through this.’