A British backpacker wrote forebodingly of his earthquake fears a few hours before he was killed in Christchurch.

Ex-soldier Greg Tobin had been on a round-the-world trip with two friends when he was crushed in the quake.

In a Facebook post on Monday, he wrote: "Just felt the scariest earthquake of my life so far, compared with the little ones I've felt in the UK, that actually scared the s**t out of me! Haha awesome."

Tobin had just found work at a restaurant and was staying at a hotel.

In a comment posted on January 6, he said hostels in the city were shut because of the September 7.1 earthquake.

He wrote: "Just got to New Zealand, been awake now for two days, had two good flights with emirates, even had menus for the inflight meals! All drinks free, but all the hostels in Christchurch are shut because of an earthquake! Brilliant! Haha maybe should have planned something ..."

His mother Caroline, 52, and younger brother Eliot, 20, are travelling to New Zealand from their home in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire. His father, Alex, 53, and brother, also Alex, 27, stayed at home.

Neighbour, John Martin, 86, told Britain's Daily Mail Tobin was a "happy young lad".

Tom Bellwood wrote on his friend's Facebook page: "RIP Greg Tobin. Shit always happens to the nicest guys."

Friend Rosemary Devaney said: "Greg was a grand lad. It's a real tragedy. He was supposed to go to America with friends but funds stopped him going, the others went on. He was going to meet them."