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In Memoriam: Jimi Heselden OBE: 1948-2010

HESCO is collecting remembrances and condolences for the Heselden family. You can leave them below.

It is with great sadness that we have to confirm that Jimi Heselden OBE, has died in a tragic accident near his home in West Yorkshire.

Jimi Heselden, 62, was Chairman of Hesco Bastion Ltd, the world-leading manufacturer of protective barriers used to protect British and coalition troops around the world.

Jimi is perhaps best known for his charity work with Help for Heroes and the Leeds Community Foundation.  A £10m gift to the Foundation earlier this month saw his lifetime charitable donations top £23m.

Our thoughts go out to his family and many friends, who have asked for privacy at this time.

September 27, 2010

Photo by Andy Paraskos


  1. May the kindness he displayed with his generosity continue on to all who grieve his loss. So sorry to hear of his passing… My sympathy to friends and family.

    • Dear Heselden family,
      I never had the pleasure of meeting jimi or your family, but as i understand you are distant relatives of mine, and in some way related to my nan Norma Rogers. All i would like to say is that myself and my family send our deepest sympathy and love in your loss of such a wonderful, special man, and again its such a shame we never had the chance to meet. R.I.P Jimi, i only hope you know how much of a difference you made to this world, and that you are looking down from above and can see the fruits of your labour and hard work and the many lives you have saved. x God bless you and your family x

    • To Jimi a wonderfull man who always enjoyed a laugh and a joke will be sadly missed by all our thoughts are with Julie and the family from all at McArthurs .

      Willie Barnes

  2. My sympathy to Jimi’s family at this time. As a soldier i have been lucky enough to not only be protected by Hesco in Afghanistan, but was fortunate enough to meet Jimi. There are a lot of soldiers and civilians around the world that are still alive thanks to his company. RIP Jimi.

  3. Your Hesco bastion saved my son’s life on several occasions in Iraq., along with many other soldiers and Marines. My deepest sympathies to all the family and friends of Mr Heselden.

  4. Our deepest sympathies to a wonderful person.

  5. Jodie, Charli and family.
    Very sad to hear of your loss.
    Pete and Ann

  6. I spent time behind Hescos in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I even WAS a Hesco one Halloween. I often wondered who invented them and hoped he made some money out of it. I’m glad to learn that Mr. Heselden was a great man as well as a genius.

  7. A good man who made a difference. RIP Jimi Hes

  8. Just seen the tragic news re Jimi; please pass on my sincere condolences to all his family and the company.
    People say that no one is irreplaceable but in this instance I truly believe he will be!

    A true man of enormous generosity, I recall how blown away Pete Rowlands was after he went up to Leeds to see Jimi just to say thank you for the great support he recieved for his epic charity row across the Atlantic that Hesco sponsored. Jimi gave a further large donation to Petes charity just for coming up to see him !!!

    Top man, RIP Jimi

    Chris Fowke – Army and Sapper Rugby Union

  9. I am deeply saddened at the news of Jimi’s tragic death. His life story of rising above the odds, creating a product that has saved the lives of many soldiers and giving back to his community is truly inspiring. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family at this most difficult time.

  10. From Nick in Harrogate, ex Wetherby resident and now living in Harrogate.

    Really sad news, I never knew this great chap had invented this wonderful protective system and lived locally at Thorp Arch. So sorry to hear of Jimi’s death and my sincere condolences to his family, in particular his wife and children. RIP.

  11. What a GREAT guy to know a true gentleman to his friends and family, had loads of great times over the years, will be missed by all, RIP Jimi,
    Phil & Simon Jubb (Eunice`s sons from Barnsley)

  12. i never had the pleasure of meeting with jimi. but my thanks go out to him for making life so much safer for our armed forces. so that they can help to make our lives safe. mine and my family”s condolences go out to his family. xxxx

  13. A really big shock and such a tragedy. Jimi was a role model for the community and in terms of Leeds, Jimi was really the people’s entrepreneur. I am very proud of the Hesco Bastion sponsorship on the Leeds United East Stand because it shows that big business should put whatever it possibly can back into Leeds United as the heart of the Leeds community. Jimi clearly represented Leeds and was a legend. He will be missed.

  14. Mi mas sentido pesame para la familia, si bien no lo he conocido, siento mucho su perdida.


    Jonathan Martinez

  15. Condolences from Turkey.. Rest in peace..

  16. Such a shame people like jimi are so few and far between

  17. condolences to all the family, i hope his work will go on, not only at hesco but for the charity he did, my husband worked there for a short time but had much respect for Jimmy RIP

  18. Such sadness yet another good person taken from us RIP Jimi

  19. My condolences to his family and friends. It really sucks when one of the good blokes are taken away! I hope his family and foundation continue to do what Jimi did in the past.
    RIP dude!

  20. Although I never heard about Jimy, his companies, the Segway, the ESCO walls, I just read about him on le FIGARO french newspaper. Sorry for this tragic accident. Sincere condolences to family, friends and companies. Best regards from Paris France.

  21. Sad to lose such a mind and heart as Mr Heselden. I lived on Guam for many years and once took a ride on a Segway there. To the family: Be strong and confident during this difficult time in your lives and be comforted to know “Jimi” was a true man, a real human during his life. A brilliant individual. Peace be with you…

  22. It is very sad to see the news of the death of Mr. Heselden who has done so much good in the world and had made it his mission to help others. The world is diminished in his passing. Such men give stature to mankind. May God help his family courageously bear the loss of one who will always make them proud.

  23. It was a sad news for me even in a remote country

    His name still lives with a brilliant product that saves many a life of brave soldiers

    Please accept my deepest sympathy

    thilak m..

  24. What a wonderful legacy of charity he has left behind. The world needs more men like this – and to the family we will be praying for you during this difficult time.


  25. Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel.

    RIP, Jimi ….

    With our deepest sympathy,
    Alan Lee and the Asia Pacific

  26. My sympathy goes to you his family and co-workers. The world has lost a great man that has given much back to the world. May his legacy continue.

  27. My condolences to the Heselden family and co-workers. He was a great man, and will be missed by many. As I am a soldier who has served in Iraq, Jimi and Hesco protected my life. Many men and women owe Jimi their lives and we will never forget what he did for us.

  28. A noble and generous man. RIP. Thinking of his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.

  29. Dear Mrs Heselden and family

    I first meet Jimi about 5 years ago after he visited our nursery to buy trees. We have since provided you with many trees, the last time in May over the period when he won the Gold Medal at Chelsea Flower Show when he was so thrilled to have won! His energy was infectious, always believing he could do anything! He was always so much fun to do business with, although always challenging with high expectations.

    I was gutted when I heard the news on Monday, especially as he had so much to live for, so much more he wanted to do for others. He got a real kick out of helping others less fortunate than himself, and I believe he has touched many peoples lives in ways you will never know. We would like to donate and plant a mature tree in memory of Jimi in a place of your choosing to honour this great man.

    Our deepest sympathy and prayers go with you at this time.

    With warmest regards

    Steve McCurdy
    Majestic Trees

  30. My sincere condolences and prayers go out to the family, friends, and coworkers of Mr Heselden.

  31. I was deeply shocked to hear the news of Jim’s sudden death on Sunday and my wife and I wish to express our sadness and send our most sincere condolences to Julie, his entire family, dear friends and colleagues at this sad time!

    I had the privilege of knowing and working closely with Jim on his personal and corporate financial affairs twenty odd years ago when he was simply Hesco Corrosion Control Ltd. Imagine our surprise and delight when we bumped into each other three or four years ago in a B & Q of all places and had a long chat over a coffee. He explained how the idea of Concertainers came to him sitting at home in his kitchen and the amazing progress of his business empire since then.

    We laughed when I jibed that, in spite of his great wealth, he was still in B & Q, looking for a ‘Bargain’. On reflection a perfect example success had not changed a jot Jim’s hereditary strong character or values!

    Clearly a ‘Rock’ to his dear family and a successful and generous businessman to boot he will be sorely missed but remembered by many with great affection. God Bless!

    Paul and Mary Hudson

  32. Dear Heseldens

    I was extremely saddened to hear of the death of Jim. Please
    accept our sincere and deepest sympathy.

    I first met Jim on an exhibition in Dubai in the late eighties.Over the years
    our paths crossed many times when we found him to be a good friend with a
    like minded sense of humour and zest for life. He was of big help to me when we set up a new company 1993.
    Always a pleasure to talk to he will be sadly missed by all of us in SGS Geotechnik.

    Our thoughts are with you.

    Yours sincerely

    Georg Fock

  33. my thoughts are with all the heselden family at such a sad time RIP JIMMY HESELDEN ( MR HALTON MOOR)

  34. Were all shocked to hear the news, and want to wish the Heselden family and everyone at Hesco Bastion our sincere condolences.
    From everyone at One Safety & Janitorial Ltd

  35. My condolences to Jimi’s family; I earned numerous blisters filling Hesco by hand in Iraq and I know I cursed the inventor many times but that soon changed once I’d been on the wrong end of my first rocket attack, in fact I was so impressed with the product that I looked up the inventor online and my admiration only increased when I heard what Jimi did with his wealth, his charitable nature and the obvious joy he got out of doing good was a superb example to many. As an aside I’ve also enjoyed his hospitality at a number of Royal Engineer functions and only hope that the Corps now does something official in recognition of his achievements and success.

  36. We were next door neighbours of Jimi and his family in Garforth in the 80′s and were saddened to hear of his sudden death. Our thoughts go out to his family at this difficult time.

    John & Margaret Foster

  37. My deepest sympanthy for your loss. I had no clue he was the man behind the “Hesco” barriers. I’m a former U.S. Marine who became very familar with the Hesco barrier while depoloyed supporting offensive OPS in Afghanistan.

    God bless and RIP Mr. Heselden.


  38. Some may term him a ‘real geezer’, but in all reality, he was a star, a kindly gentleman and a thoroughly decent chap. Glad to have known him and consider him a friend. He was known to we Nielsens since he turned up at Ulrome seeking to defend his piece of England from the onslaught of the North Sea. It began there! Such a sincere man, he will be remembered with fond thoughts, for being a caring soul and a thoroughly generous being.

  39. Jimi….

    On and on and on




    He’ll understand

  40. Devastating news!

    Truly the most down-to-earth bloke you could possibly meet.

    Such a sad loss and though you’ve gone, you will never fade in my memory.

    Martin Hopkins

  41. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Jimi Heselden. A truly inspirational and generous gentleman.

  42. Condolences from Germany!

  43. I was intrigued to find out more about Jimi and Hesco after seeing the reports of his incredible generosity recently. How tragic that the life of such a selfless outstanding man is taken so suddenly and prematurely. God bless Jimi and his family.

  44. May you rest in peace my friend……people like you will always be remembered in our hearts.

  45. We were so shocked and saddened to hear the news; our thoughts are with Jimi’s family and friends at this difficult time.
    We met Jimi on a sailing trip I’d helped to arrange to the BVIs for his 60th – he’d taken a number of family members, friends and colleagues on holiday to celebrate and it was here that I got to see what a down to earth and very genuine person he was.
    Our thoughts are with you.
    Clare & Alex

  46. Such sad news – our heart felt sympathy goes to all Jimi’s family and friends at this difficult time.

    We met Jimi a couple of years ago on a sailing trip in the BVIs which I had helped arrange for his 60th birthday. He was such a down to earth and genuine Yorkshire man and we still think fondly of that amazing trip.

    Our thoughts are with you.

    Clare & Alex

  47. What can we say , so tragic a loss of a true “what you see is what you get character” – a rough diamond with so much time for people he liked and enthusiasm & passion for many things in life.

    Remembered very fondly by Stephen & Paula , love and prayers for Julie and all the family including the team at HESCO.

    RIP Mate.

  48. My prayers are with your families. His legacy will live on for centuries. I am a proud owner / operator of the rare and exclusive Handsfree Transporter Segway Steadicam edition. I am thankful for the vision and inspiration of men like Jimi whom bring dreams to reality for the masses!

  49. The meal at The Calls, and the days cricket at Headingley will stay with me until we meet again. Its true the
    good die young. Rest in Peace Jimi, will remember you in my prayers.

  50. Such a sad and tragic loss our thoughts and condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues
    RIP Jimi

  51. The sun has set on a successful self-made business man, but is has also set on a selfless generous man.

    You will be repaid for your kindness Jimi…as you can rest in peace

  52. As a supplier to Hesco for many years we are truly shocked by this news.

    Dealing with the company and the way they conduct thier business has been a true pleasure.

    Our thoghts are with Mr Heseldens family and friends at this sad time.

  53. What a tragic loss – everyone here has said everything I want to say

    My thoughts are with you all

    RIP Jimi

  54. My thoughts and prayers are with you. So sad to lose a loved one so suddenly. May the memories you have comfort you in the coming months.

  55. To the Heselden Family please accept our deepest sympathy at this sad time. The loss off such a good man does not seem fair and the void he will leave on this earth will be a vast one.

    We will never forget his cheeky charm and dry sense of humour and the wonderful times we all had together…….

    God Bless you all & God Bless Jimi Heselden R.I.P XXX

  56. Sincere condolences to all of the family and friends of Jimi Heselden at this very sad time.
    Our dealings with Jimi were through business and his integrity, fairness and generosity of spirit were all greatly appreciated by all the team at Pittards. He helped us during a difficult time and we will not forget that. A naturally kind man who will be missed by many.

  57. So shocked to hear the news , what a wonderfull man , larger than life ! My deepest sympathy and prayers to you . R.I.P Jimi


  59. My Heart goes out to All Jimi’s family and friends, he was a good man who did alot for charity, He was also a friend of my Dads Sam Sorby, everyone who knew Jimi is heartbroken of the sad loss of a Wonderful Man, May you Rest in Peace. GodBless you and all your family. xxxxxxx From all The Sorby Family xxxxx

  60. Goodbye Jimbo, i cant believe you`ve gone and i dont suppose your family can either. What can anyone say when something so terrible happens especially, when its someone who you`ve known and been proud, and honoured, to call a friend. To Derek and John and the rest of the Heselden family please accept my deepest sympathy for your tragic loss


  61. Deepest Sympathy To Joanne, Jason and Jodie, Auntie Jackie and all the rest of the Heselden family!
    It was a great pleasure to know you Jimi, you have inspired and helped so many people and your memory will always live on!
    Our Loss is Heavens Gain
    Goodnight Godbless Jimi…. R.i.p

    Mel, Kyle, Liam and Kenadi-Leigh

  62. A great loss to the business world . This country was built on men like Mr Heselden !
    My thoughts are with your family at this sad time and i am sure that they will remember him for all the good he has done over the years helping people less fortunate than him self…


    John Mather

  63. I know that Jimi donated his money made from his inventions to my son and his football team in Ricall, Kelfield.

    My son won his first football medal connected with LEEDS FC, it was very sad to hear such a great man has had this terrible accident.

    I wish to thank JIMI for his love and compassion for The Yorkshire people and to say thanks for his charity work with the poor and neglected of Yorkshire in which he done something for the local kids that the local councils never do, and that is, giving something back to the local community.

    Rest In Peace Jimi

  64. A true Leeds Legend

    RIP Jimi

  65. Jimi’s Products saved my life in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

    May he rest in peace.

  66. It was a great pleasure and privilage to do business with Jimi.

    One of life’s true gentlemen.

    Our thoughts and best wishes are with his family.

    John, Ken & Gillian Hodgson

  67. Mis condolencias a su familia y creo que la muerte lo encontró en toda su plenitud y haciendo lo que más quería. Por el sistema de defensa que inventó fue en beneficio de muchas vidas que salvó que se encontraban al servicio de la paz mundial en zonas difíciles y altamente peligrosas -(Afganistan)-

    Que descance en paz.-

  68. I’m reading Sebastian Junger’s book “War” on his time with American troops in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan. Over and over Junger referred to Hesco barriers and how such were one of the main if not primary methods of defense of outposts. The soldiers featured in the book credit these barriers from getting killed or wounded. Mr. Heselden is owed much thanks and the gratitude of the United States and other NATO countries for saving the lives of their warriors. Thank you sir for your invention, company and charity. May God bless you and your family.

  69. i knew a man of humour, a wise and clever man.
    a man who thought of others, as every day began
    he was an open champion.in his wildest dreams
    and drove his lovely motorcars, in the movie scenes

    i didn t know him very long, 3 years at the most
    and with all his huge success, i never herd him boast
    i d ask him this, he d tell me that, i would shake my head
    i find it unbelievable, unbelievable he said

    he was unbelievable, with all his genorous deeds
    yes, he was unbelievable, this superman from leeds
    he was the hero s hero, he loved them, and, they loved him
    we ll never seethe like again, of the giant known as jim i




  71. It was a pleasure to have worked for you a honour to have known you, thank you for what you have done for all my family our thoughts are with all your family Goodnight godbless Jimbo RIP Marsh xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  72. I just wanted to pay tribute to Jimi. I only met him a few times, but I couldn’t have met a nicer, kind, genuine, funny and generous man. He will be sorely missed.
    RIP Jimi.
    Kind regards

    Simon Oxby

  73. Dear Jimi,

    I never met you and I only just found out about who you were from todays paper. But I feel like I have lost a family member! Your story of over coming your personal odds to being in a position to help your fellow man is truly awe inspiring. You brought yourself up by your boot straps to become a success and have likely saved countless lives in the process. Leave behind you great legacy for others to follow. Even though you have gone your Hesco bags will keep doing the job as they intended and in that way your memory will last forever. Good Luck and Gods Speed ~ JC

  74. I’ve been a supplier to Jimi for the last 10 years, and was deeply shocked to hear of his accident. Our sincerest sympathy goes to all the Heselden Family,his friends and everyone at Hesco. Jimi was a one off, irreplaceable, and will be sadly missed,
    Goodbye Jimi,
    From Chris at Chambers & Cook Freight

  75. We grew up with all the Hesledon Family on the Halton Moor estate. How you made you mark on the world Jimi.

    Our condolences go out to all the Family at such a very sad time.

    The Furness Family x

  76. sorry to hear of your loss he will always be a hero in our eyes he was such a caring and wounderful man god bless his soul and god bless his family in their hour of need rip jimi

  77. An untimely end to a quite extraordinary life. I have to concur with many of the other comments, Mr Heseldens
    legacy will be to provide sanctuary and relief to thousands in the direst circumstances and that is an
    acheivement his family and colleagues must be incredibly proud of .My sincerest condolences to them all.

  78. Great man an great boss,did a hell of a lot for charities an a lot of our troops owe there life to the great invention he designed.Big respect for a true legend, R.I.P. Jimi also i have created an online memorial through the leeds based website gonetoosoon link if you also wish to pay your respects to him at http://jimi-heselden.gonetoosoon.org

  79. Although I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing you in person, I certainly knew of you and the amazing work that you did. Never have I heard even one person speak a bad word against you Jimi and that is extraordinary in the worl we live in.
    You were a kind, caring, generous and selfless gentleman who worked hard all of your life and used your success to change the lives of people less fortunate.

    Leeds has certainly lost it’s heart and I am sure this week will be remembered forever. Good night Jimi and thank you for everything you did for Leeds in the wonderful 62 years you were with us.

    I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to your family and friends, my thoughts will be with you all forever.


  80. Thank you for allowing us to know you, to laugh with you and to spend a little time with you.

    A very funny man who loved to laugh and who’s heart was as big as his character.

    It was a pleasure to know such a gifted man as Jimi was and words can’t say how much he will be missed,
    all i can say is that the world has become a sadder place for him not being in it.

    All our thoughts are with Julie and his family .

    God bless Jimi, hope we laugh together again one day.

    Love Diane and Dave Salt

  81. The segway brit will be remembered by billion people in the future!

    truly generous guy of modern times.

    Urban designers all over the world will miss him!!

  82. Without Jimi I simply would not be where I am today.

    A true working class hero.



    • I didn’t know Jimi, but only had the opportunity to read about him through the recent tragedy that had so much play on the news wires. What a sad sad story. But what a truly amazing man.

  85. The Hesco was a godsend, kept me safe on a number of occasions in Iraq & Afghanistan. You are also one of the unsung heros. My thoughts are with your family and in my prayers, can’t wait to see if you have the contract for those pearly gates.

    R.I.P. Buddy.


  86. We’re shocked and saddened to hear of your terrible loss.

    Jimi was a was a great friend to Colin. All the Hill family really appreciated him and Julie making the effort to attend the funeral. Who would have ever been able to imagine the tragedy that was to follow so soon afterwards.

    He was a kind and generous man and what he did for us for our honeymoon was greatly greatly appreciated and will not be forgotten.


    Kindest of Wishes and our sincere condolences to All his family.

  87. We are truly sorry and saddened to hear of your tragic loss.

    All the Hill family were very grateful for the effort that Jimi and Julie made to attend Colin’s funeral, as ever he was a great friend. Who could possibly have imagined the tradegy that was to follow so soon.

    On a personal level we will be eternally grateful to Jimi for helping us out so much for our honeymoon. A kind and generous man who I am sure will be sorely missed.


    Prayers and kindest thoughts to all his family

  88. although i only worked for hesco bastion a short time i new of the lives your equipment as saved so many people owe you so much .


    Roy hempshall

  89. To grandad
    You are a fantastic and brilliant grandad, and always will be. You will be watching over us because you are a big shining star in the sky. You are our hero.

    Good night – god bless
    Have a nice rest in heaven with the angels

    We love you lots and lots

    Mollie, Freddie and Kitty xxxxxx

  90. We are very sad to here about the accident of Mr Hesildon men like him are very few and far between the word salt of the earth comes to mind ,you looked after people down here and god will look after you in heaven out thoughts are with your family

  91. Circumstances so sad. We will continue to support Segway, This man spent his money on the needy, your support for his businesses has helped him help others. May he rest in peace.

  92. Sentient to my entire family,
    indeed the world lost a great man and a great inventhor, feel badly miss, this person that inspired me a lot …. God Be with friend …
    Ler foneticamente
    Dicionário – Ver dicionário detalhadopronome0.me


  93. So sorry to hear about Jim, who we knew when Alf worked at Octel, Ellesmere Port. Jim was a great man with a super personality. We thoroughly enjoyed his company when we met up with him, while on holiday in Thailand. He’ll be missed by so many people.
    Alf and Heather.

  94. My thoughts go out to Jimi’s family and close friends.
    I did not have the opportunity of meeting Jimi but like Jimi, I am inventor.
    To create and see that creation come to fruition is so gratifying.
    Jimi will live on in his creations.
    I to, am trying to get my creations into the military. I hope I can do half of what Jimi has done.
    Thank you for showing us what’s possible.


  95. To the Heselden Family,

    It was with great sadness that all of us at DRAFT/Segs4Vets learned of Mr. Heselden’s tragic
    death. While none of us had the opportunity to meet Jimi in person, the legend of his kindness
    made us want to strive to be like him! It is very sad when the world loses one of its really
    beautiful souls! God’s rich blessings to the his family, friends and colleagues!

    Mike Kelly
    Columbia, Missouri

  96. R.I.P deepest sympathy toall your family x

  97. What an incredible visionary. A great loss to humanity – a world class mind. Condolences to the family in their time of loss.


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