Family pay tribute to ‘larger than life’ aid worker killed in Israeli air strike

The family of a British man killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza have paid tribute to his “larger than life presence” and his “legacy”.

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.

In a statement released by Devon & Cornwall Police, his family described him as an “incredible man” who had “died doing something that mattered to him”.

They added they would “never comprehend his loss” as the former Royal Marine had “so much more to achieve in his life”.

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

The family statement said: “It’s not the size of the candle but the brightness of its flame that counts and this couldn’t be more true than when we think about Jim.

“Whilst he was taken from us far too soon, and with so much more to achieve in his life, we gain comfort in knowing that he lived every minute of his time on earth, to the fullest extent.”

James had a strong passion for rugby and “followed his dreams” by joining The Royal Marines and seeing front-line action in Afghanistan, while “people” were at the heart of everything he did and drove him to “be better”, his family said.

The statement continued: “It was this drive that took him to Gaza in support of World Central Kitchen, and those so badly affected by the conflict in the region.

“Whilst we will never comprehend his loss, we know that he died doing something that mattered to him, he was making a difference and for that, at least, we are grateful.

“Above all others, those that mattered most to Jim were his fiancee Jacqui, and his family. ‘Proud’ does not come close to expressing how we all feel for what Jim achieved, and we know would have gone to achieve.

“Whilst mourning the loss of him, and what he would have undoubtedly continued to do with his life, we also reflect on his legacy and the many people who will continue to benefit from what he started.

We love him. We miss him. We celebrate his achievements.

“We know that his flame will continue to burn brightly in each and every one of us as we look to a future without his larger than life presence in it.”

Mr Henderson’s funeral will take place in Truro, Cornwall on May 22.

The funeral of his colleague Mr Kirby was attended by hundreds of people in Bristol on Wednesday.

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