Algerian hostage crisis: details emerge of Britons killed


Friends have paid tribute to a former member of the British speed skiing team who died in eastern Algeria, as further details emerged about him and the other Britons who lost their lives.

Carson Bilsland, a 46-year old oil worker originally from the village of Bridge of Cally, near Blairgowrie, Perthshire, was described as "one of life's indomitable characters" by a skiing instructor at the Scottish resort of Glenshee, where he had worked.

"I worked up the hill when he was here and Carson was a real character, somebody you wouldn't forget once you had met him," John Macpherson told Scottish channel STV.

"One of the most memorable things was his fantastic shock of red hair which made him instantly identifiable. It was quite deep red and it went with his adventurous nature.

Bilsland, who was working in Algeria as a technician, is believed to have been killed as Algerian forces stormed the In Amenas gas plant.

The family of Kenneth Whiteside, another Scot who died, said they had learned of his death on Facebook. The 59-year-old planning manager from Glenrothes, Fife, lived in Johannesburg, South Africa with his wife and two daughters.

His brother, Robert Whiteside, told BBC Radio 4: "The police came last night and informed us that what was on Facebook was true, that Kenny had been … he was executed.

"We know now what's happened to Kenny but we actually had to find out for ourselves. We were not given any official information and it was through Facebook, of all things, that we found out of Kenny's demise. It was my daughter who found it on Facebook, a message from an Algerian co-worker."

Garry Barlow, 49, a married father of two from Liverpool who was a system supervisor for BP at the plant, was another British victim.

His widow Lorraine said the family was devastated by the news of the death of a husband she described as "a loving, devoted family man [who] loved life and lived it to the full".

The family of Paul Morgan, who was reported to be a former Foreign Legion soldier and Gulf War veteran, said he was a "true gentleman" who died doing the job he loved – he was in charge of security at the plant.

Morgan, who was originally from Liverpool but lived in Spain, is believed to have been on a bus which was on the way to the airport when it was ambushed by the kidnappers at the outset of the incident last Wednesday.

Powered by article was written by Ben Quinn, for The Guardian on Monday 21st January 2013 23.35 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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