Who were the aid workers killed in World Central Kitchen Strike?

The charity has named ‘seven heroes’ killed in IDF drone attack on Gaza aid convoy


(Photo: WCK website)

Three British former servicemen killed in an Israeli strike on an aid convoy in Gaza have been named by the World Central Kitchen charity.

John Chapman, 57, James (Jim) Henderson, 33, and James Kirby, 47, were among the seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) workers killed in Monday's strike. WCK said the trior worked in security for the charity and The Sun reported that they were employed by security company Solace Global, based in Cornwall.

Former Royal Marine special forces operator, James Henderson, had been on an exit list to leave Gaza on the day of the attack, according to The Times. The 33-year-old from Cornwall had been in the war-torn strip with the charity since March 27.

John Chapman, a father of two from Poole, also served in the Royal Marines and was described as an “excellent man” by his family.

The third British victim, James Kirby, 47 was also an army veteran.

WCK identified the other victims of the IDF strike as Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha, 25, from the Palestinian territories; Lalzawmi (Zomi) Frankcom, 43, from Australia; Damian Soból, 35, from Poland and Jacob Flickinger, 33, a national of both the US and Canada.

Abutaha had worked as a driver for WCK since the beginning of the year.

Frankcom had worked as an aid worker for WCK for the last five years and had travelled to the US, Thailand and her native Australia with the charity. Before working for WCK, the Melbourn-born 43-year-old had worked for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for eight years. Relatives described her as an “outstanding human being” who was “killed doing the work she loves delivering food to the people of Gaza.”

Soból was from the Polish city of Przemyśl where he had studied hospitality. He had been on aid missions in Ukraine, Morocco, and Turkey and had been working with WCK in Gaza for the past six months.

The group had been travelling through the city of Deir al-Balah in a clearly marked aid convoy operated by WCK to provide meals to Palestinians in Gaza. The non-profit had coordinated its movements with the Israelis but their vehicles were hit by three missiles fired by an IDF drone.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has acknowledged that the IDF hit "innocent people" and described it as "unintentional".

WCK CEO Erin Gore said in a statement: “These are the heroes of World Central Kitchen. These seven beautiful souls were killed by the IDF in a strike as they were returning from a full day’s mission. Their smiles, laughter, and voices are forever embedded in our memories. And we have countless memories of them giving their best selves to the world. We are reeling from our loss — the world’s loss.”

The charity’s founder, celebrity chef Jose Andres, tweeted that he was “heartbroken” and described the victims as “angels”. He also took aim at the Israeli government for “indiscriminate killing.”

In the immediate aftermath of Hamas’s October 7 onslaught, WCK set up soup kitchens in Israel to feed those impacted by the attack.

The charity, which was one of the few humanitarian aid organisations to operate in Gaza during Israel's war on Hamas, has paused its operations in the Palestinian territory following the deaths of the seven aid workers.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive