Saturday, June 22, 2024

Family to remember British aid worker killed in Gaza

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The family of a British man killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza are planning a big send-off for a larger-than-life character.

James “Jim” Henderson, 33, was among seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) workers who died when their convoy was hit outside the Deir al-Balah warehouse last month.

Mr Henderson, from Cornwall, formed part of WCK’s security detail and died alongside fellow British veterans John Chapman, 57, and James Kirby, 47.

A large number of people are expected to pay tribute to Jim Henderson at his funeral at Truro Cathedral on Wednesday (World Central Kitchen/WCK.org/PA)

Family and friends are gathering at Truro Cathedral on Wednesday to say goodbye to the former Royal Marine turned humanitarian worker.

“I think it’s really important that Jim gets a great send off,” Mr Henderson’s older brother, Matt, said, ahead of the funeral.

“I think it will be good for all of us to give Jim the send-off he deserves.

“Then that will give us time to process everything else in the long term and that will take a long time.”

Mr Henderson praised his brother and said he had a real ability to make friends with people wherever he went.

“I think the biggest thing I always think about with Jim is that he had done his work with the military and then more recently the humanitarian focused stuff,” he said.

“The one thing that everyone says about Jim is his ability to be friends and have real connections with so many people.

“I would speak with him, and I couldn’t keep up.

“I’d ask him where he is and what he’s doing, and he would always be somewhere with someone from some area of work, or he’d be meeting friends from school.

“I think he just was able to maintain on a personal level really nice deep relationships with so many people.”

Mr Henderson said his brother’s death came as a terrible shock to his family but said the local community in Cornwall had been very supportive.

“We’ve had a lot of people messaging, people making contact from different places, different walks of life that Jim had,” he said.

“There are likely to be massive, massive amounts people. I’m not sure the exact numbers but more than we’re expecting.

“It’s been a big sort of outpouring really from friends and family but also the local community in general has been very, very supportive.

“They are very proud of what he has done in that short space of time.”

Mr Henderson had a passion for rugby and joined with the Royal Marines, which included frontline service in Afghanistan.

The funeral of his colleague Mr Kirby was attended by hundreds of people in Bristol last week.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) dismissed two officers and reprimanded three others over the incident, calling it a “serious mistake”.

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