The case of a Bournemouth man killed fighting ISIS in Syria has been ruled as accidental at an inquest today.
Jack Holmes, 24, known as ‘Jac’, died while trying to detonate an improvised explosive device at a Kurdish base in Rawda, in the north east quarter of Raqqa in October last year.
The coroner, Rachel Griffin, said that Mr Holmes died from head injuries caused by the blast from a suicide belt.
Mr Holmes’ mother Angela Blannin, present at the inquest, described her son as “strong and independent” and a “very popular gentlemen”.
The former painter and decorator travelled to the Middle East in January 2015, but was refused entry after landing in Iraq and returned to the UK.
His second attempt to travel to the Middle East was successful after signing a disclaimer before boarding at Gatwick airport, where he joined the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit, even though he had no military experience.
Mr Holme’s father, who was also at the coroner’s court, said his son was due to leave for a safer part of Syria and then return home.
He said he was a matter of hours away from being extracted from Raqqa.
Summing up, the coroner said Jack’s “main focus and desire was to help others and wouldn’t be deterred from travelling to Syria”
“He was tragically killed trying to save others”, she said.
She finished with a warning of the “volatile situation” in Syria and of the dangers to those going there to fight, in light of Jack’s case.
A funeral was held in Wimborne for Mr Holmes in February, which was reportedly attended by hundreds of Kurdish people from across the UK.