THE family of Corsham man John Welch, who with his partner Eileen Swannack were among the 38 tourists who died in the beach massacre in the Tunisian resort of Sousse in June 2015, have told the inquest into their deaths that he was 'cruelly' taken from them.

The hearing at London's Royal Courts of Justice has been hearing the details of how every victim of gunman Seifeddine Rezgui, who opened fire with an automatic weapon, killing people on the beach and at the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel, died.

The hearing was told great-grandmother Eileen Swannack, 73, who lived in Yatton Road, Biddestone, was shot in the chest. Her partner John Welch, 74, a retired plumber, of Pickwick Road, Corsham, was shot in the chest and neck.

The Wiltshire couple had been together since 2007 and were happy, their families said. They had struck up a friendship after both had lost previous partners and had enjoyed many holidays together to the Tunisian resort of Port El Kantaoui.

The inquest heard that Mrs Swannack's family would remember her for her "lust for life" and as a warm, loving and friendly woman. She had lived in Biddestone for over 40 years and was well known in the community, where she had been a keen supporter of village organisations, especially the football and cricket clubs, of which her late husband Eddie was president. Hundred of people turned out to memorial and funeral services for the couple.

The hearing was told Mr Welch was remembered as a loving father and grandfather who went out of his way to help people and who always said hello. He also played tennis and golf.

Mr Welch's family said in a statement to the hearing: "Dad was fit and healthy. He had many more years ahead of himself when he was so cruelly taken from us."

After the attack in Sousse, their families had to wait 48 hours before confirmation from the Foreign Office that the couple were among the dead.

Yesterday's inquest hearing heard from one of the British holidaymakers who survived the attack that at the time people feared there may have been more than one gunman, although it was later confirmed Seifeddine Rezgui, who was shot dead buy police, acted alone.

Ex-RAF serviceman Anthony Hines said he saw two men - one in black shorts and another in red shorts - with automatic weapons.

He said he "ran like hell" after seeing a man in black shorts with a long gun come up the path shooting at people. He also heard the "rat-a-tat-tat" of gunfire and "explosions like it was a bomb or grenade".

Mr Hines hid behind a pillar as the man in black shorts prowled along the beach, the hotel's outdoor terrace and towards to the sea.

He said he saw a man in red shorts crawl or climb under a wire to get to the beach, adding "It appeared to me he could have easily been an acquaintance of the man who had been shooting at people."

The court has heard that a man in red shorts said he picked up a gun a marine guard had dropped, but Mr Hines, who hid in a first-floor room with other terrified tourists, responded by asking: "Why did he not go the proper way?"

The hearing will resume on Monday at 10am.