The family of a talented photojournalist killed in Libya are holding a memorial service five months after he was shot dead by Gaddafi loyalists.

Anton Hammerl, 41, was killed in an ambush while shooting images of the conflict in Brega.

For 45 days, his wife Penny Sukhraj, 35, was cruelly given false hope that he was alive, and campaigned tirelessly to have him released.

But her world came crashing down around her when it was revealed the father-of-three was dead all along and the authorities had misled the family.

Mrs Sukhraj read a heart-wrenching tribute at a memorial in Johannesburg at the beginning of July.

Now the family are preparing for a memorial service on September 8 at St Bride’s Church, in Fleet Street - the heart of journalism.

Talking about the moment she received the terrible news, Mrs Sukhraj said: "I sank to my knees, sobbing before I could hear the rest of the terrible message which began with, ‘Penny, I’m sorry to have to tell you this but…’ "Alas, it was all too clear that our fight to bring back our husband, father, son and brother, was really over, before we had even begun."

She continued: "I can’t believe you’re gone. I can’t believe I’ll not ever see your lovely smiling sunflower-like eyes again, or be enfolded and protected in your warm and strong embrace.

"I’m not ready to be without you. And yet without you, I must now go on.

"I won’t say goodbye my love. Merely, see you later and farewell, until next we meet."

South African national Mr Hammerl was based in Surbiton with his wife and two sons Hiro and Neo, seven.

Hiro was just a couple of months old when his father set out to work in Libya, and his only memories of him now will be from photographs.

Mr Hammerl’s body is still yet to be found, despite the family writing an open letter to President Zuma in June, which read: "Our hearts and minds are still in Libya every waking moment, trying to reach out to our son, our husband, our brother and our father, not knowing where his body is.

"We ask you to please use your influence on the continent to help finally bring Anton home to us, so that he can rest under the South African skies that he loved so much. Our nightmare cannot end until he is home."

His memorial on September 8 begins at 3pm.