Briton killed clearing bombs in Syria ‘an outstanding example of courage’

The mother of Ollie Hall, who died fighting Islamic State in Syria, has said her son’s legacy will help save many lives.

Speaking after an inquest into his death, Jane Lyndon said that she was proud of the 24-year-old for standing up for his beliefs, but added that she hoped others would not follow in his footsteps.

She said: ‘We just want to say that we are so proud of Ollie. I wish he had never gone, but we are proud of what he did. We wouldn’t want other people to go out there.

‘From everyone I speak to out there, he was very popular and well liked. One friend said he was not a soldier when he went out there but he became a soldier and then some.

‘A few of the people have said he was the only one they would trust with their life which showed how hard he worked out there.’

Describing how she felt when he told her by text message that he had travelled to the Middle East, she said: ‘I was absolutely devastated, I just had this feeling that I am not going to see him again.

‘I couldn’t be mad with him, he was in Syria and I didn’t want to lose communication with him, some days he would be messaging me from 4am to midnight.’

She said that he had planned to return home early but he had then changed his mind.

Mrs Lyndon said: ‘When he said he was going to come home early, we were really excited but something must have changed his mind. I don’t think he liked doing nothing, he was a do-er, always pushing forward.’

She said he had not been frightened to return to the UK where he faced arrest for fighting in Syria.

She said that Mr Hall had told her of plans to stay in Syria to do charity work after he had finished his period as a volunteer fighter.

Mrs Lyndon said: ‘It just proves his determined strength and his need to help others.’

She explained that a friend who was planning to stay with him was carrying out work to resurrect a well in the village of Nashowa which he is going to call ‘Ollie’s Well’.

Mrs Lyndon added that £1,450 raised in her son’s memory was also going towards an orphanage in the village of Yasadi.

She said: ‘This is going to Ollie’s legacy, not only that he saved a few people but he saved a whole village.’

Speaking of the impact of his death, Mrs Lyndon added: ‘Your life changes, you have a different outlook – live life for the day, you just don’t know what’s going to happen.

‘We will always be proud of him, we just wish he hadn’t gone.’