Her Majesty The Queen is pleased to approve the following awards of the George Medal, the Queen’s Gallantry Medal and the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery. The names of those shown below will be published in The London Gazette.
Ignacio Echeverria, Civilian (posthumous), for confronting armed terrorists to protect others at London Bridge on 3 June 2017
On 3 June 2017, Ignacio Echeverria was cycling through Borough Market with friends when he witnessed a terrorist attack. On realising what was happening, he ran towards the terrorists, using his skateboard to strike them to prevent them from carrying out further attacks. The terrorists diverted their attention to him and inflicted fatal wounds. It is without a doubt that his intervention allowed victims to escape, thus preventing further loss of life.
Ignacio Echeverria displayed great courage when he challenged multiple armed terrorists. Using his skateboard as a weapon, he was well aware that it was no match for the weapons that were being used by the assailants. Regardless, he ran towards them with the intention of stopping them from carrying out further attacks on innocent people who were in the vicinity.
It is beyond doubt that he displayed great courage in choosing to try to tackle the attackers. He could have taken cover but did not do so. He was unarmed and untrained. The danger was apparent but he made a deliberate choice to try to stop the attack, putting himself in harm’s way.
PC Charlie Guenigault, Metropolitan Police, for confronting armed terrorists to protect others at London Bridge on 3 June 2017
On the evening of 3 June 2017, three terrorists carried out a sustained attack on members of the public in the vicinity of London Bridge and Borough Market. PC Charlie Guenigault was in the immediate vicinity. He was first alerted to the incident at approximately 21:30 when, despite being off duty, he responded to a call for assistance from a member of the public who had been stabbed in the arm. He went to assist and requested the attendance of the police and ambulance services via mobile phone. Two uniformed officers then approached the scene. He briefed them on what he knew. As he was doing this he heard a further commotion and observed what at that stage appeared to be a street brawl involving six to eight people about 10 to 15 metres away. Despite having no personal protective equipment, he ran toward the group and saw that in fact two British Transport Police (BTP) officers were being attacked and that this was a violent and dangerous situation. Both officers were experiencing a sustained attack and were fighting back using their batons. Without any thought for his own safety, PC Guenigault sprinted towards the group to assist his fellow officers. On reaching them, he ran between the two BTP officers and pushed away one of the attackers, receiving a stab wound to the back of his neck as he did so. Despite this, he forced his way further into the group, at which point it became clear to him that there were three assailants. He pushed one of the attackers away from a BTP officer. The attacker then turned on PC Guenigault and stabbed him multiple times resulting in injuries to his face, back, and hands. He collapsed to the ground and despite his injuries had the presence of mind to lay still. The attackers then fled the scene. He was assisted by members of the public and was rushed to hospital with serious injuries.
PC Guenigault was off–duty when he showed exemplary action in response to this terrorist attack. He tried to protect fellow police officers and members of the public by distracting and attempting to stop the terrorists. He placed himself in danger and was aware of the possibility of serious personal injury.
PC Wayne Marques, British Transport Police, for confronting armed terrorists to protect others at London Bridge
On 3 June 2017, three terrorists carried out a sustained attack on members of the public at London Bridge, resulting in 8 people being killed and 48 injuries.
PC Wayne Marques, a British Transport Police (BTP) Officer, left his police station at London Bridge to commence a routine patrol with his fellow officer PC McLeod. Almost immediately upon exiting the station they heard screaming and saw people running down Borough High Street. They ran towards the disturbance and found a man with stab wounds being tended to by members of the public. PC Marques heard further screaming, turned and saw a man (one of the terrorists) stab two people.
PC Marques charged at the terrorist and using his baton knocked the terrorist away from the victims. He continued to overpower the terrorist, striking him with his baton a number of times. As he was overpowering the terrorist PC Marques was stabbed in the head by a second terrorist. PC Marques continued hitting out at both men in an attempt to disarm them when he saw a third terrorist running towards him. At this point, he was confronting all three terrorists while they were slashing at him with their knives.
PC Marques suffered a number of knife wounds but continued to confront the terrorists, hitting at them with his baton. PC Marques carried on swinging with his baton in an attempt to disarm the men and managed to create some distance between himself and the three terrorists. Whilst doing this he pulled PC Guenigault, who was lying on the ground, away from the further threat of injury. The terrorists then suddenly turned and ran off. At this point PC Marques felt warm liquid on his body, realised it was blood, and sat down on the ground. Others went to PC Marques’ aid at this point.
Whilst PC Marques did not know at the time the suspects were terrorists, he knew the individuals were extremely dangerous and made a conscious decision to face that danger head on in an attempt to apprehend them and prevent further injury or loss of life. He demonstrated exceptional courage and resilience. He was subjected to a sustained attack involving extreme violence and faced overwhelming odds. Although seriously injured, he continued to try to protect the public without regard for his own personal safety.
Paul Hassan James Zubier, Civilian, for going to the assistance of a woman being attacked by a man with a knife
On 18 August 2017, a man armed with a knife attacked members of the public in a square in Turku, Finland. Hassan Zubier, a trained paramedic, was on holiday with his family when the attack started. As they were walking through the square, Hassan heard screams behind him. He turned around and saw a woman on the ground, a man with a knife standing over her, and another woman running away screaming. He immediately rushed over, chasing the attacker away. He gave first aid to the woman on the ground and attempted to stop the bleeding.
While he was attending to the woman, the attacker returned. He fought him off and the attacker fled, but he returned once more and attacked Hassan Zubier while he continued to attend to the woman. Once again the attacker returned and attempted to stab Hassan Zubier’s partner. He shielded her, sustaining further injuries himself. Despite Zubier’s efforts, the woman died from her injuries in his arms. He sustained four stab wounds to his neck, chest and left arm. Two women died in the attack and a further eight people were injured.
Hassan Zubier was aware of the danger to others and to himself, as he knew the attacker was armed when he went to help. But he was determined to assist the victim, despite the attacker returning and attacking him several times.
Queen’s Gallantry Medal
Stephen John Adams, Civilian, and Richard Arthur Guest, Civilian (posthumous), for saving a young girl from drowning
On Saturday 4 July 2015, Richard Guest and his wife were walking along the beach in Tywyn, North Wales, when they heard screams for help coming from the sea. Two teenage girls had gone into the sea and had got into difficulty.
Richard Guest noticed that another man, Stephen Adams, was walking nearby and had also heard the screams. Without hesitation, both men quickly entered the sea to try and save the two teenage girls. The sea was extremely rough but the men persisted, and Richard Guest was the first of the two men to reach one of the girls. He held her out of the water until he was able to hand her to Stephen Adams. As they were about to return to shore, the rescued girl told the men that there was another girl in the water. While Stephen Adams helped the girl back to shore, Richard Guest decided to remain behind to search for the other girl who they believed was still in the water. Neither man was aware that the second girl has managed to make her own way safely back to shore.
Richard Guest spent some time in the very rough sea searching for the other girl and, having taken the girl to safety, Stephen Adams returned to where he had left Richard Guest. He discovered him face down in the water. He checked for a pulse but there was none and because of the rough conditions, he could not turn Richard Guest over. Realising his own life was in danger, he reluctantly returned to the shore. Richard Guest was later pulled unconscious from the sea by the RNLI and taken to hospital, but he was pronounced dead.
Both men demonstrated unselfish courage. Neither man knew the two girls yet were willing to risk their own lives to ensure the safety of two strangers.
Thomas Leslie Jackson, Civilian (posthumous), and Daniel Leigh Richards, Civilian, for trying to save a woman attacked by a man armed with a knife
On 23 August 2016, a tourist at a backpackers’ hostel in Queensland, Australia went on a frenzied knife attack injuring three people (two fatally) and assaulted police officers. He stabbed British backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung, who subsequently died at the scene.
The attacker dragged Mia Ayliffe-Chung from her bed with the knife at her throat. Daniel Richards was in the next bedroom and realised what was going on. He pleaded with the attacker to put the knife down and went on to witness the stabbing. Despite this, he made a courageous attempt to approach the attacker and called for assistance; the risk was demonstrated by the cut a companion received, which required 100 stitches. His actions, however, distracted the attacker, allowing Mia Ayliffe-Chung to run to a first floor bathroom. After raising the alarm downstairs, Daniel Richards returned with Thomas Jackson to the bathroom to care for Mia Ayliffe-Chung.
Thomas Jackson on being alerted to the situation (Mia Ayliffe-Chung had been stabbed but was still alive), went to the first floor bathroom with Daniel Richards to care for her. Thomas Jackson persisted in trying to calm the attacker and reduce the risk. But the assailant attacked Thomas Jackson ferociously, stabbing him multiple times. These wounds were to prove fatal; he died on 29 August.
Despite the ongoing danger, when the assailant attacked Thomas Jackson, Daniel Richards did not leave but remained, continuing to call for help.
Both Thomas Jackson and Daniel Richards were aware of the danger that the attacker posed, as they had seen that Mia Ayliffe-Chung had been attacked when coming to her aid. They were untrained, unprotected and unarmed during the attack. Their actions were to protect the victim and assist her in the first floor bathroom. Thomas Jackson tried to calm the attacker down. The attack on him was unexpected, and he was unable to prepare for it. Daniel Richards was aware of the danger, demonstrated by the stab wounds that victims received during the incident. He protected a third party throughout the attack, and at risk to his own safety.
PC Leon McLeod, British Transport Police, for confronting armed terrorists to protect others at London Bridge on 3 June 2017
On 3 June 2017, three terrorists carried out a sustained attack on members of the public at London Bridge and Borough Market. That evening two British Transport Police (BTP) officers, PC Wayne Marques and PC Leon McLeod, left their station at London Bridge to commence routine patrol. Almost immediately upon exiting the station, they heard screaming. They ran towards the disturbance and were told by people running away from the scene that someone had been stabbed. They found a man on the ground that had been stabbed and who was being tended to by members of the public. PC McLeod stopped to help administer first aid to the man and radioed for assistance.
He then heard PC Marques shouting and saw him waving his arms about like he was trying to break up a fight. He ran towards PC Marques and saw men holding knives. He drew his baton and shouted at the men to ‘drop it’ when they suddenly ran off. As he ran after the attackers, he saw a man and woman on the ground, both who had been injured. He went to their aid and radioed for immediate assistance, confirming further casualties. At this point, he saw PC Marques covered in blood. He radioed again that an officer was injured.
PC McLeod ran in the direction the men had gone and came across many people running towards him shouting that people had been stabbed. He was told that the men had gone up a street and he ran in the same direction where he found further casualties. He stopped to help administer emergency aid to the victims when he heard gunfire in the immediate vicinity and became aware of armed police officers on the scene. Despite the danger, he continued to help treat a victim and assisted others to carry him out of the danger zone to an ambulance. He then returned to check on PC Marques, help the injured and evacuate people out of the danger zone. PC McLeod remained on the scene until the following morning.
With little regard for his own safety, he demonstrated exemplary bravery by running into what he quickly recognised as a terrorist attack to help the many innocent people who were caught up in it. His courage in the face of adversity as one of the first police officers on the scene during this atrocity is highly commendable.
John Moore, Civilian, for rescuing a driver from a burning vehicle
Please see description underneath the “Theresa Cosgrove, Civilian” heading below.
Queen’s Commendation for Bravery
Theresa Cosgrove, Civilian, for rescuing a driver from a burning vehicle
On 10 June 2014, John Moore was in the front passenger seat of a car driven by his partner, Theresa Cosgrove, when he noticed that a motorcycle was traveling behind their car. Ms Cosgrove spotted the motorcycle in her rearview mirror and moved over slightly to indicate the motorcyclist could overtake the car safely and then moved back to the middle of the road. After a few seconds, John Moore saw a car emerging into the road from a private driveway. The motorcycle continued along the road and was unable to react safely to the emerging car, as there was not enough room or time. It braked hard, which caused its rear wheel to lift off the ground and the motorcycle collided with the driver’s door of the car and burst into flames almost instantly.
Theresa Cosgrove stopped her car and John Moore immediately ran towards the passenger side of the car. He discovered that a young woman was sitting in the driver’s seat, on fire and screaming for help. The motorcyclist was lying across the woman, trapping her in her seat. John Moore and Theresa Cosgrove managed to move the motionless cyclist away to a safe distance from the burning car. Moore then returned to the car and set about trying to free the woman, but was unsuccessful. Theresa Cosgrove then came to assist John Moore but without success.
John Moore took over again. He climbed into the passenger footwell to grab the woman while Theresa Cosgrove lent in to assist. Flames rolled up the inside of the windscreen and over his upper half. The seatbelt melted onto the woman and because of this, Mr Moore was able to pull her over the centre console and free of the car. On moving the driver, he shouted that it was time to get away from the burning car. Both he and Theresa Cosgrove went back to where the motorcyclist was lying. Shortly afterwards, the car exploded and John Moore used his body to shield Theresa Cosgrove and the motorcyclist. The emergency services arrived shortly after and declared that the motorcyclist had sadly died.
As a result of returning to the burning vehicle, prioritising the rescue of the woman without regard for his own safety, John Moore suffered burns to his hands and face. Although he and Theresa Cosgrove knew that there was a significant risk to life and they could have refused to enter the area where the car was burning, they did not hesitate to go to the assistance of the two injured motorists. Their aim was to bring the injured motorists to safety and they persisted until this was achieved.
Kirsty Boden, Civilian (posthumous), for giving assistance to the victims of the London Bridge terrorist attack
On 3 June 2017, terrorists drove their van along London Bridge and into the Borough Market area. Kirsty Boden had been enjoying a night out when it became apparent that there had been a terrible incident on the bridge. People ran into nearby shops, cafes and restaurants, Kirsty (a nurse by profession) acted without hesitation and went to assist those injured in the courtyard area below London Bridge. It is likely that she did not realise that a terrorist attack was taking place. As she tried to save the life of an injured person, the terrorists attacked her and she was fatally wounded.
It is without a doubt that Kirsty Boden displayed courage and compassion when, without concern for her own safety, she went to assist those who were injured. She could have taken cover to protect herself, as most people caught up in such a serious and life threatening situations would have done. However, being a nurse, she took her training to care for others to the highest level.
Ellen Gauntlett, Civilian, and Justin Jones, Civilian, for going to the assistance of an injured police officer at London Bridge on 3 June 2017
On 3 June 2017, Ellen Gauntlett and Justin Jones were in Borough Market and saw two police officers involved in a struggle with three men (the terrorist attackers). Realising the officers needed help, Justin Jones ran across the road to help them, where an attacker confronted him with a knife. All three attackers then ran off. Ellen Gauntlett and Justin Jones stayed to provide first aid to a badly injured police officer. Despite fears that the attackers had firearms and were returning, both stayed with the police officer until he had been taken to hospital and was in a stable condition.
Ellen Gauntlett and Justin Jones could both have taken cover and chosen not to intervene in support of the police officer. In doing so, they may have saved his life by increasing opposition to the attackers and causing them to run off. It is entirely possible that the police officer would have been completely overpowered and killed without that intervention. Neither was trained for the dangerous situation in which they found themselves and there was a very real risk of severe injury. They could not know whether the attackers would return.
Gareth Jack Leadbetter, Border Force Officer, for rescuing 20 persons from a sinking vessel
In the early hours of the 29 May 2016, Gareth Leadbetter was the Coxswain of HM Cutter Valiant’s boarding boat and led his team in the recovery of 20 persons, suspected to be illegal migrants, from a sinking vessel near Dungeness. Weather conditions were extremely poor and after assessing the situation, the seaworthiness of the craft and the condition of its passengers, Gareth Leadbetter displayed exceptional leadership and coxswain skills in ensuring all migrants and facilitators were transferred onto the cutter in extremely demanding conditions.
Gareth Leadbetter made the correct operational decisions ahead of his own safety, ensuring lives were saved at sea by rescuing the people and recovering them to his ship. This involved 3 separate runs to and from the sinking vessel and 3 launches and recoveries of his boat onto the cutter – an extremely dangerous manoeuvre, made all the more hazardous in the poor weather.
He demonstrated his ability to lead a team under severe pressure and to focus the skills and experience of his diverse team. He showed outstanding composure and resilience in rescuing migrants at sea to deliver a truly inclusive outcome. His actions resulted in 20 lives being saved at sea.
Sean Moore, Civilian, for intervening in a violent altercation
On 3 August 2014, a man attacked another man inside a busy Derby city centre bar, following a disagreement. The attacker was armed with a broken bottle and lunged at his victim, stabbing him near the back of his neck.
Sean Moore, one of the bar’s door supervisors was on duty and witnessed the attack. He quickly realised that the attacker was about to stab his victim a second time and without hesitating, leapt to the victim’s defence by placing himself between both men. As a result of this, he received the blow that was intended for the victim. The attacker had used the broken bottle to stab Moore, leaving a gaping hole on the back of his left hand. Despite this, Sean Moore persisted to diffuse the situation and with the help of a group of people eventually managed to get the attacker and his victim apart. By intervening in the incident, Sean Moore’s first and foremost concern was to prevent further injury or even death to the victim.
Florin Morariu, Civilian, for providing shelter to those escaping the London Bridge terrorist attack on 3 June 2017
On 3 June 2017, Florin Morariu was working at a bakery in London Bridge when two frightened women who were seeking refuge approached him. They alerted him to the terrorist attack taking place, making him aware of the danger that people in the vicinity were facing. He provided shelter for the victims but chose not to remain indoors. He instead armed himself with two bread crates for his defence and went to seek the attackers. He found them stabbing someone and, to distract their attention, threw the crates at them. The police then arrived at the scene and he returned to the bakery, opening it up to the public as a place of safety and allowing 20 people to shelter there.
When he first realised the seriousness of the situation, Florin Morariu had the chance to retreat to the safety of his shop, but decided against this. Two bread crates were no match for the weapons that the attackers were using, of which fact he was well aware, but he nevertheless decided that he would engage them. There is no doubt that he was determined to stop the attackers from inflicting further wounds on others.
David Robert Sant, Border Force Officer, Lee Anthony Townsend, Border Force Officer, and Stuart Anthony Woodland, Border Force Officer, for rescuing people from drowning in the Mediterranean Sea
On the night of 21/22 January 2016, a Border Force patrol vessel was on patrol off the Greek Island of Farmakonisi as part of EU operations to rescue people crossing from Turkey. Just before midnight on 21 January, a large wooden fishing boat was detected heading towards Farmakonisi and a Greek Coast Guard vessel was sent to investigate.
Shortly after, the alarm was raised as the fishing vessel had foundered on the rocky coastline of Farmakonisi. The Border Force vessel immediately launched 2 rescue craft. The Fast Rescue Craft (FRC) crew were Lee Townsend (Border Force team leader) and a commercial coxswain and the larger Daughter Craft (DC) crew were Stuart Woodland and David Sant (Border Force) and a commercial coxswain. Both rescue boats sped to the scene, in total darkness, and in poor weather with an observed 1.5m swell and crashing waves on the rocks.
On arrival, they found many people in the water surrounded by bodies and debris from the wreck. In full knowledge that they themselves were in danger of being forced onto the rocks by the weather, the FRC crew led by Lee Townsend immediately pulled a boy and girl from the water and they began to perform CPR on both. The DC crew similarly put themselves in known danger to begin recovering people from the water with David Sant recovering and performing CPR on a young girl. At this point, both the FRC and DC lost power due to fouling from the floating debris. Despite both vessels now being helpless and being driven towards the rocks, the crew continued to administer CPR in an attempt to revive those rescued even though they knew they were in serious danger. Shortly after the FRC hit the rocks repeatedly but Lee Townsend kept telling his team to stay with the boat and keep calm.
During this extreme danger, the team continued to try and revive those they had rescued. The DC finally managed to restart its engines and skillfully manoeuvred to take the FRC in tow; Stuart Woodland put himself in danger whilst recovering a young girl from the water and when trying to take the FRC in tow where he had to pass a line to them close to the rocks. Despite knowing the imminent danger they were all in, the team continued to try and save the lives of those they had recovered whilst also trying to save their FRC colleagues now in danger of losing their lives.
Officers Townsend, Sant and Woodland each displayed exemplary acts of bravery, dedication, and commitment, saving 43 lives.