Briton killed in Ukraine hailed as ‘real life hero’ by his heartbroken family

The family of a British father have described him as a “real life hero” after his death in Ukraine.

Simon Lingard “died fighting for what he believed in” on Monday, his loved ones said.

The Foreign Office confirmed it is supporting the family of a British national who died in the war-torn country.

The Ukrainian military has offered to bring him back to England, Mr Lingard’s relatives added.

But the family have also set up a fundraising page asking for support to give him “the greatest well deserved send-off”.

Writing on the GoFundMe page, they said: “As most people are aware my dad, Simon Lingard, (Grimmy) sadly lost his life in Ukraine on Monday November 7.

“My dad was an inspiration to all who knew him, a real life hero who died fighting for what he believed in. He was loved and adored by so many, a true representation of what a soldier should be.”

They described being “absolutely heartbroken” at their loss.

A small number of serving British personnel and veterans as well as Britons without combat experience are thought to have travelled to Ukraine (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)
Britons are thought to have travelled to Ukraine to help in the fight against Russia (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)

The message added: “The Ukrainian military have offered to bring him home to England but we need help to show him the respect and adoration he deserves by giving him THE greatest well deserved send-off.

“Could you all please find it in your heart to donate anything no matter how small so we can honour our dad and allow him to finally Rest in Peace.”

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are supporting the family of a British national who has lost his life in Ukraine and we are in touch with the local authorities in connection with his death.

“Our thoughts are with their family at this difficult time.”

In June, ex-British soldier Jordan Gatley was hailed a hero by both his family and an adviser to the war-torn country’s president after he was killed while fighting in Ukraine.

Mr Gatley was shot dead in the city of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine.

He left the British Army in March and travelled to Ukraine to help forces there “after careful consideration”, his father said.

Mr Gatley, who it is understood had served as a rifleman with the Edinburgh-based third battalion of The Rifles, was also praised by Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, who said he would always be remembered for his contribution.

In April, tributes were paid to Scott Sibley, a British military veteran reportedly killed in Ukraine while fighting against Russian forces.

At that time the Foreign Office confirmed a British national had died in Ukraine.

A small number of serving British personnel are believed to have gone absent without leave to join the resistance against the Russian invasion, while veterans and Britons without combat experience are thought to have also travelled to Ukraine.

There was initially confusion on the Government’s position after then-Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, in comments during an interview to the BBC on February 26, said she would “absolutely” support UK nationals who chose to fight for Ukraine.

However, she later rowed back on those comments, insisting she had been “expressing support for the Ukrainian cause” in her remarks, and that there are “better ways” to contribute to the country’s defence.