Page last updated at 18:44 GMT, Wednesday, 16 September 2009 19:44 UK

Brian Barron: Your memories

Brian Barron
Brian Barron died at his home in Cornwall surrounded by his family

BBC war correspondent Brian Barron has died from cancer at the age of 69.

He covered wars across five decades and served as the BBC's man in some of the world's major cities.

BBC website readers have been sending in their memories of him.

Here is a selection of their comments.


I was serving with the British Army at the time that Brian came to do his reporting. For anyone to go in to that situation un-armed was brave - at the time there was very few armoured vehicles in theatre so his reporting was done from just basic land rovers. It took 'guts'.
Bill, Greater Manchester, UK

Brian Barron and his family owned the holiday flat next to mine in St Ives. He was one of the few people who always swam very early in the morning with no wet-suit, as my family and I did. We often exchanged comments about our early morning swims as we passed each other, shivering. I always found him utterly charming and I'm hugely saddened to hear of his early death.
Tamsin John, Bristol, UK

I remember Brian Barron as a kind man who was very helpful with his junior colleagues: when I was a young BBC TV News producer, I contacted him to ask him about some technical details on a remarkable film he had made about Berlusconi's Italy. He immediately responded to my email, sharing all the 'tricks of the trade' he had used in that piece.
Benedetto Cataldi, Acquapendente, Italy

Brian had a unique style of telling a story. He was succint and yet, incisive. Fair, but biting. He was there for his viewers and listeners, but in no way intrusive. He was simply a great reporter. A master craftsman. As we say in Jamaica, walk good Brian!
Cliff Hughes, Kingston, Jamaica

In my thirty years as a correspondent with US-based CBS News, I covered many of the same stories Brian Barron did: Northern Ireland, India-Bangladesh, Viet Nam, Cambodia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, the Falklands, Iran and Iraq. Because we were not directly competing with each other, we would now and then give the other guy a hand. He was a friend, a brilliant reporter and also, in a profession lacking an abundance of them, Brian was a civilized gentleman.
Richard Wagner, Charlottesville, USA

I never saw him and I never spoke to him, yet over the years he must have spent hours with us in our home, as an informative, witty and pithy character, always bringing something with him and always welcomed. We have missed him since his absence, and will go on missing him for sure.
Richard Howard, Westerham, UK

Brian Barron and Sonia Cooke
Sonia Cooke's graduation was made 'all the more special'

I was lucky enough to have Brian Barron speak at my graduation ceremony as I graduated from Falmouth College of Arts, Cornwall in June 2002. This was made all the more special as I majored in Broadcasting Studies. He was a lovely man and was very happy to pose for photographs with a load of over-excited and extremely idealistic young graduates.
Sonia Cooke, Banstead, UK

At least he had finished his work for the Uganda and Tanzania war. Few reporters covered this war. He lived talking war to get world peace. His soul will rest in peace.
Binemungu, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

I worked with Brian as an interpreter when he covered the earthquake in Mexico City in September 1985. He was an inspiration, both very professional and non-intrusive. He got great stories and coverage sufficient to outline the circumstances and obtain international help in what were quite distressing times for local people. I have and always will remember him as he was then.
Debbie Davies, Bushey, Hertfordshire, UK

My wife's father was working for the foreign office in 1975 and arranged for Brian Barron to get on a US helicopter out of Saigon. In gratitude, he arranged for my wife, a schoolgirl then, to have a tour of the BBC. He offered her a ticket to Top of the Pops but she was more interested in the workings of the BBC.
Andy B, London, UK

I worked with Brian over more than two decades at the BBC, sometimes 'on the road'. His talents as a reporter and correspondent are well enough known, but the thing that struck me about him was his total lack of personal vanity. He had plenty of style along with the substance, and an original and sometimes idiosyncratic approach, but success did not change him at all: he had brought with him to television news the values of the World Service radio reporter he once was - a calm, interested, intelligent, persistent, impartial and decent approach to the job. He aged well in his work, and was an excellent role model for any young reporter.
Bob Wheaton, Maidenhead, UK

I recall Brian during his time as correspondent with BBC Northern Ireland during the troubles, and will always remember him for his pleasantness, kindness and always keeping a cool head especially when under extreme pressure. He would never pass anyone without a smile, nod or a polite word. Sorry to hear of his passing away!
Stephanie McKee, Belfast, Northern Ireland

I worked with Brian subbing on the World Service at Bush House. He was a fine colleague. We played squash against each other. I followed his subsequent career with interest.
John Lloyd, Exeter, UK

He was the only reporter to ever put the hairs up on the back of my neck. He managed to get into North Korea, where they where building this multi-storey monster of a building, which was so badly constructed they couldn't use it. It just so happens the Ministry Of Truth in George Orwell's 1984 was almost exactly the same shape. Barron managed to sneak up to film it, and he read out the relevant passage from 1984 whilst the camera panned up the building. This was so well done I remember shivering.
Roddy Nicolson, Shetland, UK

His reports from Northern Ireland stick out for me - he brought out the human element of every story he covered, without fuss or drawing attention to himself. A journalist's journalist with a distinctive and yet understated style.
John Adcock, Ashtead, UK

I worked with Brian on many occasions during my 35 years as a picture editor in BBC News. He was simply a brilliant reporter and a lovely man. On the wall of my study is a photograph taken by the Radio Times of Brian and I working on a story in a hotel room in Delhi. Brian's young daughter was with him on that trip and every time I saw her running about the hotel I was reminded of my own daughter, who was the same age.
Geoff Hale, Clevedon, North Somerset, UK

As a young student doing journalism at Fleet Street in the early 80s, our hero in reporting news coverage was Brian Barron. He was to me the best for war coverage including of Nigeria where I come from.
Daniel Otuonye, Broxbourne, UK

My husband Andy, who worked overseas for thirty years and who passed away a year ago the same age as Brian, took me to Africa with him on large scale civil engineering projects. I recognised Brian on a flight to Kano, Nigeria, in 1977, when he was the Africa correspondent. We had a chat and I sat next to Eric Thirer for the whole of the flight, who told me of their time together all over the world. I burst into tears when I heard news of his death at one o'clock today. He will be sadly missed.
Patricia Anderson, Harrogate, UK

I'm 35 years old and have listened to and watched Brian Barron's reports my entire lifetime. Hearing his voice again today was like hearing an old friend talking again. His voice, in my memory, is synonymous with the highest standards of professional journalism and above all - the truth.
David Kerr, Belfast, Northern Ireland

I always took notice of his reports and remember him from the 60s. I would have liked to have met him to chat about the world which he seemed to know so much about. I loved his blonde curls and his eyebrows but he was always informative, and looked very daring in some of the places he visited.
Mcallis, Nottingham, UK

I knew Brian as a colleague and friend when I was BBC South East Asia correspondent from 1979 to 1983. He was delightful - often very funny but brave and serious when it came to doing the job. He'd been my predecessor in the post and had left me a well-stocked archive which made my task that much easier. He wasn't just a reporter - he was a correspondent and analyst of the first order. And he was the sort of person you missed when you didn't have him around.
Jack Thompson, London, UK

I was only 9 then, but l remember his reporting of the fall of Saigon as probably the first piece of news that struck me as truly significant. He was one of the best.
Howard White, Birkenhead, UK

I worked for Reuters as a colleague and competitor, and sometimes collaborator with Brian in Malaysia, and indeed took him on his first tense anti-government demonstration in Kuala Lumpur. Working with him and in competition was always both a challenge and fun. His West Country accent was one of his charms. He was definitely one of the BBC's best choices in Asia, where he established himself as one to watch.
Colin Bickler, London, UK

Very sad to hear this news - Brian narrated my childhood, and is one of the reasons I love the BBC. He reported from the thick of it, always relaying a comprehensible but never superficial analysis. I'll always remember his voice.
Andrew Horberry, Toronto, Canada

Brian was simply one of the best. A tower of strength, a brilliant reporter. I worked with him, commissioned him for News, Newsnight and various assignments over thirty years. His death is very sad and my thoughts are with his family. But, be assured his legacy lives on, his reputation for youngsters to aspire to lives on and the world of BBC journalism is a much poorer place.
Nick Guthrie, London, UK



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