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Camden New Journal - by SUNITA RAPPAI
James Brolan and new born sonJames pictured with his new born son, Sam

James Brolan
Above and below at work

Tributes to ‘brave, funny and talented’ soundman

Family and friends mourn loss of journalist killed by car bomb in Iraq

THE family of James Brolan, a Dartmouth Park journalist killed in a car bomb attack in Iraq on Monday, have paid a moving tribute to the “brave, funny and talented” husband and father.
Yesterday (Wednesday), as tributes poured in to the popular family man, his wife’s grief-stricken parents, who lived with the couple in Dartmouth Park Hill, told how Mr Brolan, 42, would ring his wife twice a day to tell her he loved her.
His mother-in-law Peggy Ferris said: “He loved his wife and his children so much. When he was away, he phoned her every day, sometimes twice a day. And he would always tell her that he loved her. In this day and age they were lucky to have been married for so long – and to have each other as a best friend.”
Geri Brolan, Mr Brolan’s wife of 20 years, flew to Kuwait on Tuesday with the couple’s children, Sam, 18 and Agatha, 12 to bring her husband’s body home.
He was due to return to the family home in Dartmouth Park Hill on June 28 to attend his son’s graduation from a music school.
His body will be flown back by his devastated family today (Thursday).
Father-in-law Joe Ferris added: “We loved him very much. We just had to accept that this was his job and what he wanted to do.”
Mr Brolan, who had been working as a soundman with CBS News for the last year, was travelling with colleagues in central Baghdad when the car bomb exploded nearby.
His funeral is expected to take place at St Mary’s Brookfield Church in Dartmouth Park Road in the next two weeks.
Mr Brolan, who grew up in Fairbridge Road, Holloway, and attended St Aloysius College in Highgate, met his wife in the Camden Palace nightclub in 1984, while on leave from the army.
They were married two years later in Our Lady Help of Christian’s Church in Kentish Town.
After leaving the army in 1988, Mr Brolan spent two years running his own painting and decorating business before getting his break as a sound recordist a few years later. His job took him around the world – including Afghanistan and the Himalayas. Others who paid tribute included Father Guy Pope at St Mary’s Brookfield Church who baptised Mr Brolan’s son, Sam, and will conduct his funeral service later this month.
Father Guy, who often walked his dog with Mr Brolan on Hampstead Heath, said: “He got to know a lot of people on the Heath searching for his dog Tuppy. James had a great sense of humour, a twinkle in his eye. He was a kind man who would do anything to help people.”
George Georgiou, from Continental Stores in York Rise – Mr Brolan’s local store – said: “He was a regular face in the shop. He was a great guy, very friendly. I will miss him coming to the shop with his wife. They were a very close family.”
In a statement released by Geri Brolan and her children yesterday, the family paid tribute to “the best dad, the best husband and the best mate to be with in a tight spot out in the field.”
They added: “James had a natural way with people, always putting them at ease, winning friends everywhere he went and always putting in his best effort. He will be greatly missed.”


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