Funeral held for British aid worker James Kirby who was killed in Gaza air strike

Hundreds gathered for the funeral of aid worker James Kirby who was killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza.

Mr Kirby, 47, was working for the aid group World Central Kitchen when his convoy was struck on 1 April.

Seven people were killed in the attack, including fellow British aid workers John Chapman, 57, and James “Jim” Henderson, 33.

Also killed were the relief team’s leader, Australian national Lalzawmi “Zomi” Frankcom, dual American-Canadian citizen Jacob Flickinger, Polish national Damian Sobol and their driver, Palestinian Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha.

Mr Kirby's funeral was held at St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol on Wednesday 15 May.

James Kirby, 47, was one of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers who were killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza.

Ahead of the funeral, Mr Kirby's mother paid tribute to her son and described him as a "remarkable man" and a "true friend to many".

"I cannot express more deeply my gratitude for the outpouring of love I have seen over the weeks since his tragic death in Gaza," she said.

"I will miss him beyond measure and cannot comprehend a future without his presence."

Several family members and friends spoke at the funeral, sharing stories and memories with Mr Kirby.

His cousin, Adam, said "Thank you for your boundless love, your unwavering selflessness and the countless memories you’ve left imprinted on our hearts.

“You will forever be loved, deeply missed, forever remembered by all of those you touched.”

Mourners comfort each other as they leave the funeral of 47-year-old British aid worker James Kirby. Credit: PA

Reflecting on memories with Mr Kirby, another cousin, Andre, described how James would always make time to visit him and his family at their home.

He described him as a "constant, calming presence".

He said: "He was always willing to help, that was Kirbs. Always offering to help others until the end."

"The one thing we always think we have is time," he added. "Time to make the phone call, time with family and friends and time to make those memories but things can change in the blink of an eye which is why I think Kirbs crammed so much fun and adventure into his life.

"I will finish off with this. Let’s soldier on and be more like Kirbs. I love you, mate."

Louise, his cousin, read a poem in memory of James. It read "Though he’s journeyed on, beyond the night. His legacy gleams with radiant light.

"So let’s celebrate ‘Kirbs’ with laughter and cheer, For James, our hero, is always near."

One of Mr Kirby's childhood friends, Brendon Forbes, spoke to ITV News after the funeral. he recalled how they met as army cadets in Weston-super-Mare at 13 year's old and formed a lifelong bond.

Describing him, he said "He was gentle, he was always funny, he was always considerate."

Viener Gaston met Mr Kirby in 2010 when they were stationed together in Afghanistan.

"He was my cover man and I was his point man," he said.

He recalled how Mr Kirby would always remain calm in every situation.

"It didn't matter if you were upset, if you were afraid of something, he would make you feel better. He would make you feel good about yourself.

"He was that driving force behind you. He would always say 'don't worry, I'm always here to protect you'.

"He was a bright light in dark times," Mr Gaston said.