Tributes have been paid to Bryn Parry, the founder of Downton-based Help for Heroes, following his death from pancreatic cancer at the age of 67.
Mr Parry and his wife Emma founded Help for Heroes in 2007 after learning of the difficulties ex-servicemen had trying to access rehabilitation treatment.
A statement on the charity’s website read: “Everyone at Help for Heroes is deeply saddened by the death of our co-founder Bryn Parry CBE following a short illness with pancreatic cancer.
“Without Bryn, this charity wouldn’t be here. Without him, over 27,000 veterans and their families wouldn’t have received life changing 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.
“We offer our deepest sympathy and love to Emma, Sophie, Tom and Louisa.”
Tributes were also paid by The Prince of Wales who said on Twitter that “he was deeply sad to hear” the news and described him as: “A life-affirming, inspirational man, his work with @HelpforHeroes made a difference to so many and his legacy will be its continuing impact.”
In a statement on the website of the Invictus Games Foundation, Prince Harry also expressed his condolences: “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 that have served.
“His vision, determination and brilliance provided a lifeline for thousands of veterans, as well as their families, when they needed it most.”
The minister for veterans’ affairs, Johnny Mercer, said: “He will never be forgotten.”
Mr Parry had served with the Royal Green Jackets. He told the BBC in 2010: “The problem was, people were concerned about the politics and the rights and wrongs of the wars,” he said.
“We said it’s not about the rights and wrongs of war, it’s about a 22-year-old boy who’s had his legs blown off. That allowed people to get behind the movement. It’s just been a humanitarian desire to do something, and not stand around and feel helpless.”