Our Heroes …

… Their Music

Our Heroes …

… Their Music

Why we do it

Lyndon writes: All that Gabriel’s Friends does and will do in the future is inspired by Gabriel Lahs-Hughes. Gabriel is my beloved only child who was lost to the world in an accident in Berlin in 2012. He had just left school and was ready to start his adult life, but was taken from me at the age of 18 years, 3 months and 15 days.

Gabriel had a remarkable ability to see what mattered in this world: to love and respect others, be a loyal friend and stand by your convictions. He was unshakeably ‘his own man’, an independent thinker and the very best person to have your back.

At 16 Gabriel trekked to the Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal. One morning he stood alone watching the sunrise and realised then and there that the only thing that really matters in this world is Love. He had found the key to life, something that most of us spend a lifetime searching for.

Gabriel was drawn to the Royal Marines, because of their indomitable spirit and their steadfast no-man-left-behind ethos. He had been selected for training as an officer and would have been a perfect fit. He was pretty much fearless, or if he felt fear, he conquered it. He could remain calm and collected under pressure. He would have found a depth of friendship and camaraderie and common purpose in the Royal Marines that he craved and would in turn have given loyalty, dependability, bravery and love.

“People used to say to me ‘Gabriel is a credit to you’ but I always answered ‘no, he is a credit to himself’ because he was far more of everything than I could ever hope to be”

Friendship was so important to Gabriel. So many people have said to me ‘Gabriel was my best friend’. One friend described Gabriel as a magnet and the centre of any room, but rather than bask in his own popularity, Gabriel was always concerned for those who were on the periphery of the group; he couldn’t bear anyone to feel excluded or unwanted.

“Another friend said to me: He was humble, modest, generous and kind and genuinely the best friend that I could ever ask for. He always had time for me no matter what and if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be where I am today."

Gabriel was almost 17 when he found the guitar. There had been one in the house for years and one day he picked it up and set about teaching himself to play. He practised endlessly, soon exchanging the acoustic for the electric guitar. He could play the most intricate solos and like all wonderful artists, bare his soul in his music.

It was imperative to keep Gabriel’s future, which had been ripped from him, alive. So I linked the warrior side of my son’s nature, with his sensitive, artistic side and the idea of offering music as a therapy to wounded or veteran service men and women fell into place.

Gabriel’s Friends had found its purpose.