Ian Parry was a talented young photojournalist at the very beginning of his career when he was tragically killed whilst on assignment for The Sunday Times in December 1989, covering the downfall of the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Ian was only 24 years old.
As the youngest of four children from Prestatyn, north Wales, Ian was determined from an early age to pursue a career in photojournalism and joined the local Rhyl Journal as a trainee at the age of 16. After studying at Sheffield’s NCTJ course, he moved to London to follow his dream and joined The Sunday Times as a staff photographer.
On one of his first major assignments covering the revolution in Romania, a job he was determined to undertake, the plane carrying him home crashed just after taking off in bad weather. “He was one of the finest young photographers to have entered Fleet Street in recent years. He had a great deal of personal discipline, which he combined with flair, imagination and tremendous compassion”, said Aidan Sullivan, then Picture Editor of the Sunday Times. Aidan founded The Ian Parry Scholarship in Ian’s memory.
Following the news of his death, tributes to Ian came from every picture editor he worked for. “He could turn his hand to anything and had great potential. We often sent him on long, difficult jobs and there was never a squeak of complaint,” said Michael Young of The Times.
Ian’s obituary by Margarette Driscoll of the Sunday Times reads;
“Last Wednesday Ian Parry made a typically generous gesture. It was his last night in Romania and to celebrate going home he took a group of fellow photographers to dinner and picked up the bill. The next morning he knocked on their hotel room doors to ask if they had film they would like him to take back. He had arranged a seat on a supply plane leaving for Belgrade at 10.30am. A few hours later he was dead.”