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Gallantry awards for eight London Bridge heroes

London SE1 website team

Eight people are to receive gallantry awards for their actions on the night of the terrorist attack at London Bridge and Borough Market in June 2017.

Gallantry awards for eight London Bridge heroes
PC Charlie Guenigault
Leon McLeod and Wayne Marques
PC Leon McLeod and PC Wayne Marques

The Queen has approved the following awards:

George Medal

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. PCMarques 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 PCMarques was stabbed in the head by a second terrorist. PCMarques 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.

Queen's Gallantry Medal

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.

Queen's Commendation for Bravery

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.

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.

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