Mourners pay tribute to British volunteer killed during Ukraine rescue

Tearful mourners pay tribute at memorial service in Ukraine for British volunteer who died with his colleague while trying to help civilians on frontline of Russia’s invasion

  • Tearful mourners gathered today in Kyiv to commemorate Andrew Bagshaw, 47
  • Mr Bagshaw was killed during a rescue mission alongside Christopher Parry, 28 
  • The pair had been attempting a humanitarian evacuation from Ukraine’s Soledar 

Tearful mourners in Ukraine today paid tribute to a British volunteer who died with his colleague while attempting a civilian rescue mission on the frontline of Russia’s invasion.

Andrew Bagshaw, 47, a New Zealand-British joint national, went missing earlier this month.

The family of Christopher Parry, 28, who was reported missing along with Mr Bagshaw, confirmed the two men had been killed in a statement earlier this week. 

The pair had been heading to Soledar, in the eastern Donetsk region, where heavy fighting was taking place.

A woman pictured paying tribute to Andrew Bagshaw, a British-New Zealand volunteer who died while attempting a humanitarian evacuation in Ukraine

A tearful woman is pictured at Mr Bagshaw’s memorial service at St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv

Mr Bagshaw (pictured) bought a one-way ticket to Ukraine in March and was operating in coordination with the New Zealand-based NGO Kiwi Aid and Refugee Evacuation (Kare)

A woman appears emotional as she pays tribute to Mr Bagshaw, who was killed alongside fellow volunteer Christopher Parry 

Mr Bagshaw was revealed to have been killed, in a statement by Mr Parry’s family, during a humanitarian evacuation

Several dozen mourners packed into a small church on the territory of Kyiv’s ancient St. Sophia Cathedral for a service led by an Orthodox priest. 

Volunteers spoke of their memories of Mr Bagshaw and read out tributes from his family.

Nikolletta Stoyanova, a friend of his, spoke afterwards of Mr Bagshaw’s bravery.

READ MORE: ‘He found himself drawn to Ukraine in its darkest hours’: Family pay tribute to British volunteer and his colleague who were killed while trying to help civilians on front line of Russian invasion flee Putin’s bombs 


Mr Stoyanova said: ‘Even if no one wanted to go to Soledar, they can’t do it. 

‘Because if he understood that someone needs help, they need to do this help for these people.’

Mr Bagshaw’s father Phil told reporters in New Zealand that his son wanted to do something to help.

‘He was a very intelligent man, and a very independent thinker,’ he said. ‘And he thought a long time about the situation in Ukraine, and he believed it to be immoral. 

‘He felt the only thing he could do of a constructive nature was to go there and help people.’

Volunteer Ignat Ivlev-Yorke, who organised Mr Bagshaw’s memorial service, said: ‘I remember one of the first times when we went (on an evacuation run) together. 

‘He was a very quiet person, he just wanted to help people.

‘He felt that this was his mission. That he had a duty to do it.’

Ukrainian police said the two men were reported missing on January 7.

Mr Parry’s family said in a statement that the volunteers were killed while attempting a humanitarian evacuation. 

The pair were last known to have been travelling from Kramatorsk to Soledar, in east Ukraine, on January 6.

Their bodies were later recovered.

Mr Bagshaw was born in the UK but lived in Christchurch, New Zealand.

His parents, Philip and Susan, are prominent figures in Christchurch where they founded the Canterbury Charity Hospital and made significant contributions to youth mental health services.

Their son bought a one-way ticket to Ukraine in March and was operating in coordination with the New Zealand-based NGO Kiwi Aid and Refugee Evacuation (Kare).

They described their son as an ‘intelligent, independently minded person’. 

In the statement from Mr Parry’s family, they said he had been ‘drawn to Ukraine in March in its darkest hour.’ 

Mr Bagshaw’s parents Philip and Susan described their son as an ‘intelligent, independently minded person’

A woman cries at the memorial service of mr Bagshaw, who was killed while attempting a rescue mission from the Ukrainian town of Soledar

Mr Parry pictured with a Ukrainian woman who he helped evacuate from her city

Several dozen mourners packed into a small church on the territory of Kyiv’s ancient St. Sophia Cathedral for a service led by an Orthodox priest

Volunteers spoke of their memories of Mr Bagshaw and read out tributes from his family

The statement also said that he’d ‘helped those most in need, saving over 400 lives plus many abandoned animals.’

Mr Parry, who was born in Cornwall but later moved to Cheltenham, was a running coach before he bought a one-way ticket to Ukraine in March. 

He felt compelled to help the country defend its land against Russia and intended to sign up for its legion of foreign fighters, but said he was told his lack of combat experience would only make him a ‘hindrance’, and instead channelled his efforts into evacuations. 

Friends said that the volunteers’ bodies will be handed over to their families in the UK.

Ukraine acknowledged for the first time on Wednesday that it had withdrawn from Soledar, almost two weeks after Russian troops said they had captured the small salt-mining town. 

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