UK

Queen's Birthday Honours: Inspiring stories of bravery in gallantry list

Tales of great bravery have been revealed in an awards list unveiled alongside the Queen's Birthday Honours. Those recognised in the Queen's Civilian Gallantry List include the police officer killed in March's Westminster terror attack and two men who came to the aid of holidaymakers in the 2015 Tunisian beach resort attacks. Here are the stories of three other recipients.

Rescued siege shoppers

Dominic Troulan has been awarded the George Cross, the UK's highest civilian honour for gallantry, for saving lives during the Westgate Shopping Mall terror attack in Kenya in September 2013.

The retired major, 54, who served for two decades in the special forces, is the first civilian recipient of the medal in 41 years.

Image copyright Dominic Troulan

Mr Troulan was working as a security consultant in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, when a group of armed men entered the shopping centre and started firing on men, women and children.

Armed with a pistol, Mr Troulan went to the site and managed to locate a friend's wife and daughter and lead them to safety.

But realising large numbers of shoppers remained trapped, he re-entered the mall. Over the course of several hours, he went back into the building on more than 12 occasions, helping to bring many people out.

His citation says: "He was fired on twice by the terrorists but managed to force them back... exhausted, dehydrated and at the limit of his mental capacity. He was about to stop when a distress call was received from a woman who was trapped, injured and bleeding. Once again, Mr Troulan entered the mall and brought the woman to safety."

At least 67 people lost their lives in the siege.

Mr Troulan says he is "overawed" by his award.

"I am normally quite balanced and quite proactive. But it's a huge honour. To be honest with you I still remember the day and all the kids and all the people that were killed and the victims. And whilst it's a great honour, it's just difficult really.

"It's more about other people than me. It's bigger than me."


Sea cave rescue bid

Volunteer coastguard Ian Bugler has been awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal for trying to rescue a woman trapped in a sea cave in Dorset in November 2013.

His actions began after a coastguard helicopter rescued a man from the water off Tilly Whim cave. The rescued man reported his sister was trapped in the deteriorating weather conditions.

With gale force winds and in very rough seas, a rescue operation was mounted - but the helicopter and lifeboat were unable to access the cave from the sea.

The coastguard team decided to reach the cave through a narrow blow-hole directly above it.

The woman was unable to swim to the blow-hole entrance because of strong waves, leading Mr Bugler to volunteer to be lowered into the cave through the narrow entrance. But there was so little room he had to remove much of his own safety equipment and waterproof clothing.

As he navigated his descent, Mr Bugler was being smashed into the sides and roof of the cave. He got low enough to be able to see the woman, but she had died.

His citation says: "He displayed exemplary bravery, a high level of professionalism and outstanding commitment in attempting to rescue the woman in such difficult and dangerous circumstances.

"He knew very well the risks involved and that both the team and their equipment would be operating on the limits of their technical capability. Yet he placed himself in harm's way in a final effort to save the woman's life."


Disarmed train gunman

The Queen's Commendation for Bravery has gone to a British man who helped foil a suspected terror attack on a train in France in August 2015.

Chris Norman was a passenger on a train travelling between Amsterdam and Paris when a man armed with an assault rifle and knife entered his carriage.

Three American passengers - two of whom were off-duty military personnel - and a Frenchman initially intervened. Mr Norman came to their aid, helping to put the gunman on the floor and immobilise him.

Image copyright Getty Images

His citation says Mr Norman's "intervention, alongside the other passengers, was at significant risk to himself.

"He undoubtedly helped save the lives of his fellow passengers, including British nationals. This was underscored by the subsequent investigation which reported that the gunman was carrying a Kalashnikov, nine rifle magazines (approximately 300 rounds), an automatic pistol and a box cutter knife."

It says the IT consultant, who had earlier received France's Legion d'Honneur, "acted with courage and calmness in the face of significant risk".

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