Algeria crisis: Victim Sebastian John rang home before he died

Sebastian John Nicola John has described her husband Sebastian as "the most amazing person"

A man has told how his stepson rang him to say he was being held captive in Algeria shortly before he was killed in the hostage crisis.

David Pugh said father-of-one Sebastian John, 26, told him to be a "strength" for his family.

Mr John, a former Norwich School pupil, was among six UK nationals killed after the attack at the In Amenas gas plant, on 16 January.

Mr Pugh said a memorial service would be held at Norwich Cathedral.

Mr John was born in Luton but spent much of his childhood in Norfolk. He is understood to have lived in Nottinghamshire.

"I had a phone call from Seb. He rung me the morning he was taken hostage," Mr Pugh told the BBC.

'Genuinely lovely man'

"I thought he had just called about football. He told me to pause and stop.

"He told me he had been taken captive by the terrorists and that could I make sure that I looked after his mother (Hazel) and wife Nicola (mother of their seven-month-old son Ralph) and be a strength for them and get him home but I'm afraid that never happened."

Mr Pugh, of Happisburgh, Norfolk, said his stepson was a "genuinely lovely" man.

"He loved his family and adored his son. He was a really clever, good person with a fantastic smile and a gentleness," he said.

Mr John was an avid Norwich City fan, and supporters paid tribute to him at Wednesday night's Premier League match against Tottenham, which Mr John's family attended.

He was honoured with a scoreboard message and programme mentions.

Mr Pugh said: "Yellow and green was running through his blood."

Mr John, a Loughborough University graduate, was in Algeria on a training course when he was captured.

More on This Story

Related Stories

BBC Norfolk



22 °C 17 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Dr Mahinder Watsa Dr Sex

    The wisecracking 90-year-old whose advice column is a cult hit

  • Payton McKinnonKilling heat

    Why so many American children die in hot cars

  • USA fanSoccer punch

    Has the US finally fallen in love with the beautiful game? BBC Sport

  • Cooling towers at the Temelin nuclear power station, Czech Republic, 2011Nuclear links

    The EU's dependence on Russian-designed power plants

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Kyoto.Falling for Kyoto

    Acclaimed writer Pico Iyer describes an enchanting first stroll through the city


  • (File photo) Usain BoltClick Watch

    Challenging the world's fastest man to a virtual race over 40m – can you keep up?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.