Thanks to Adam for notifying me about this. Rest in peace to the fallen and my heart goes out to the friends and family of these men. I am not sure what actions these men did during the assault, because by law, they could not be armed. Either way, they died in defense of their client.
When Stirling Group gives a statement I will make the edit. -Matt
Former soldier who went down fighting off kidnappers was first Briton to die
A Gulf War veteran who was the first Briton to be killed in the hostage massacre “went down fighting” as he tried to repel the kidnappers, according to friends.
Gordon Rayner and Rosa Silverman
21 Jan 2013
Paul Morgan, who worked for the Cheshire-based private security firm Stirling Group, was on a bus taking him to the local airport when al-Qaeda kidnappers attacked it on Wednesday morning.
Mr Morgan, a former French Foreign Legion soldier who was in charge of security at the In Amenas gas plant, instinctively fought back and paid with his life as he tried to protect his colleagues.
A former legionnaire who served with him said: “The lads are chuffed that he didn’t go down without putting up a fight. He was a good soldier and a very humane and kind man. The Legion is a family and everyone in the Legion is paying their respects, as the lads keep tabs on their own and mourn those who die in service. Once a Legionnaire, always a Legionnaire.”
Mr Morgan, 46, who was originally from Liverpool but lived in Spain, worked as a liaison between the gas field workers and the local security staff stationed at the facility.
Bryce Gillies, 53, his colleague and friend from Wemyss Bay, Scotland, said: “He was a lovely guy. His job was to keep everything secure and he was excellent at it and very well respected.”
Mr Morgan joined the French Foreign Legion after he left school and served with the 1st Legion Cavalry Regiment in the first Gulf War in 1991.
He had just finished a one-month stint at the plant and was on a bus to the airport to return home on a crew changeover day when the kidnappers struck. A source said: “He was in a lead vehicle when the terrorists attacked and he was killed. His death is the subject of a murder investigation by the Algerian police.”
The surviving gas workers on the buses were taken back to the gas plant where they were then held hostage.
Mr Morgan’s name has not yet been formally released because the Algerian authorities are awaiting the results of DNA tests before identifying those who were killed.
Stirling Group, based in Macclesfield, employs ex-servicemen to provide security to various sites in Algeria and other countries. It said it was not prepared to comment until Mr Morgan’s name had been officially released, adding that Mr Morgan’s family did not want to make any comment at this stage.
Mr Morgan was one of two Stirling employees killed in the terrorist attack.
His colleague Yann Desjeux, 52, a former French special forces soldier, was also confirmed to be among the dead.
Stirling’s staff at the gas plant were not directly armed, in accordance with Algerian law.
But they worked with local security staff who were entitled to carry shotguns and pistols, according to a source familiar with the gas plant.