Family of ‘larger than life’ Cornish aid worker killed in Israeli air strike speak out 

James Henderson was killed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza on 1 April. Credit: Family handout

Tributes have been paid to a Cornish aid worker who was killed in an Israeli air strike last month. 

James Henderson, who was known as Jim by his friends, died after the vehicle he was travelling in was struck by a missile fired by an Israeli drone on Monday 1 April.

Mr Henderson, a former Royal Marine from Penyrn, was one of seven aid workers killed in a series of strikes, three of whom were British.

The other Brits killed in the attack were James Kirby, 47, from Bristol and John Chapman, 57, from Poole.

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 were also killed.

Mr Henderson’s family 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.

“The thousands of messages we have received from all parts of the globe bear testament to what we already know, and had the privilege of witnessing daily, at close quarters.”

They shared how he was passionate about sport at school, particularly rugby. 

“As he grew into the incredible man he became, he followed his dreams by joining the Royal Marines and saw front-line action in Afghanistan. 

“Never one to sit still, as new opportunities came his way, he took hold of each one, and approached it with his trademark enthusiasm.

“Through everything Jim did, at the heart of it was people. Whether it was children starting out in rugby or boxing, or those less fortunate than he was, it was people who drove Jim to want to do more, and be better. 

“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 fiancée 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.”