Penryn man shares memories of 'brilliant' friend Jim Henderson killed in Israel air strike

  • Jim's friend Aaron spoke to ITV News about his bravery and kindness.

A Cornish man has paid tribute to his "brilliant" friend, who was killed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza on Monday 1 April.

James Henderson, a former Royal Marine, who went by Jim, was working for the World Central Kitchen charity when his convoy was hit outside the Deir al-Balah warehouse.

A Bristol man, James Kirby, was also among those who died in the air strike.

Today, Wednesday 3 April, his childhood friend Aaron Cockrill spoke to ITV News West Country about Jim's bravery and kindness.

He said: "I don't think it's sunk in yet that my friend's not coming home. He was my mate - still is my mate.

"I know he's gone, but he's still my mate. I grew up with him.

"We lived 200 or 300 yards away from each other and spent most weekends just buggering around in Penryn somewhere.

'Jim commanded the back row with his relentless work ethic' Credit: Penryn Rugby Club

"Being around Jim, you felt that nothing could go wrong. He always had complete control over everything.

"He was tough, and I don't just mean a little bit tough. That bloke walked into war zones without being phased.

"He could walk anywhere and do anything, and nothing phased him. He was brilliant."

Jim and Aaron went to nursery together, played rugby together and were in the same tutor group at school.

"In some aspects, it still feels like I'm going to go up to the rugby club next week and he's going to be stood at the bar, or watch him walk through the gates with his dad," Aaron added.

"And I'd just be stood there, having a chat with him over a pint about where's best to go for a roast on a Sunday."

James was a popular member of Penryn Rugby Club Credit: Penryn Rugby Club

Penryn Rugby Club has also paid tribute to Jim, in a post on Facebook.

It said: "It comes with great sadness that we announce the passing of Jim Henderson.

"We have lost one of the kindest, toughest and most loyal players to have ever worn the Penryn shirt.

"Jim started playing for Penryn from the youth section all the way through to seniors where he was a force to be reckoned with.

"Jim commanded the back row with his relentless work ethic which he instilled on to everyone that had the pleasure of playing beside him.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Jim’s family and friends through this tough time."

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