William leads tributes after Help for Heroes co-founder Bryn Parry dies

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  • April 12, 2023
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The Prince of Wales has led tributes to the “inspirational” co-founder of Help for Heroes, Bryn Parry, following his death.

William and the Duke of Sussex both honoured Mr Parry’s memory on Wednesday, after he died following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Mr Parry was one of the UK’s best known countryside cartoonists and he founded the charity, which supports veterans and their families in the UK, with his wife Emma in 2007.

Help for Heroes chief executive James Needham said: “Everyone at Help for Heroes is deeply saddened by the death of our co-founder Bryn Parry CBE.

“Without Bryn, this charity wouldn’t be here.

“Without him, over 27,000 veterans and their families wouldn’t have received lifechanging support.

“Bryn was instrumental in changing the focus of the nation and the way we regard both military service and wounded veterans.

“Those who knew and worked with Bryn saw at his core an incredibly kind, earnest, and passionate soul, whose energy was contagious.

“Supported, encouraged and advised by Emma, he was unstinting in his total, unwavering commitment to making the lot of the wounded servicemen and women as good as it could be.

“Bryn’s founding principles and his no-nonsense approach of doing everything humanly possible to help our heroes, remain at the heart of all we do.”

In a Twitter statement on Wednesday, William wrote that he was “deeply sad to hear that Bryn Parry has passed away”.

He added: “A life-affirming, inspirational man, his work with @HelpforHeroes made a difference to so many and his legacy will be its continuing impact. My thoughts are with his family and friends. W.”

It is understood that William closely followed Mr Parry’s work and recently wrote to him after he received his CBE, given to him in a private investiture at his home due to his terminal cancer.

The Sun has reported that Mr Parry died “peacefully and surrounded by family”.

He diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in January 2023.

The Duke of Sussex called Mr Parry’s death a “truly sad day for the military community”, according to the Invictus Games Foundation.

Harry founded the Invictus Games to aid the rehabilitation of injured or sick military personnel and veterans from across the globe by giving them the challenge of competing in sporting events similar to the Paralympics.

A statement posted on the foundation’s Twitter account attributed to its patron, Harry, states: “Today is a truly sad day for the military community as we bid farewell to a man who, alongside his wife, completely transformed the UK charity sector for the benefit of those who have served.

“His vision, determination and brilliance provided a lifeline for thousands of veterans, as well as their families, when they needed it most.

“Those that come after him will always be better off because of his actions.

“Bryn Parry, we salute you!

“Thank you from all of us for the lives saved, the support given and the community inspired.

“Your legacy lives on through Help for Heroes.

“Our love and respect will remain with your family.”

The Invictus Games Foundation added: “Together with his wife, Bryn was responsible for changing the landscape of support for wounded injured and sick service personnel and veterans in the UK.

“All of us at the Invictus Games Founded are truly indebted to the vision and passion of his work with Help for Heroes, which directly influenced the formation of the Invictus Games London 2014, and their support for Team UK many years later.”

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Johnny Mercer MP said Mr Parry “will never be forgotten”.

“My heart goes out to Emma and the family,” he wrote in a social media post.

“At a time when the nation’s deficit of veterans care was so ruthlessly exposed by those men and women injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bryn and Emma stepped up, founded Help for Heroes, and single handedly revolutionised veterans care in the United Kingdom.

“Their place in history will never fade; what they started has continued to echo years later.

“He inspired me with his unapologetic determination to do right by these special men and women who serve.

“He will never be forgotten.”

After 10 years in the army, Mr Parry gave up his regular commission in The Royal Green Jackets to make a living from art, his sculpture website states.

His commissions “included work for the Duchy of Cornwall, the Duchy of Lancaster, Sandringham, Lloyds of London and many Regiments, Companies and individuals”, it added.