Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

Heroes that confronted terrorist to be honoured at Windsor Castle today

Two of the heroes who tackled the Fishmongers’ Hall terror attacker in 2019 are set to be honoured at Windsor Castle today (Tuesday, September 26).

John Crilly and Likasz Koczocik, who were among the four men who confronted convicted terrorist Usman Khan until armed police arrived at the scene, will receive the Queen’s Gallantry Medal. The decoration is awarded for exemplary acts of bravery.

The pair featured on this year’s Civilian Gallantry List, the last to be approved by the late Queen. Probation Service worker Darryn Frost, who used a narwhal tusk to fend off Khan, and convicted murderer Steven Gallant – who ran to the aid of the victims and tackled the knife-wielding attacker to the ground – were also awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal, it was announced earlier this year. 

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Ex-prisoner Mr Crilly hosed Khan with a fire extinguisher after Mr Koczocik had used a long ceremonial pike taken from the walls of the Grade II-listed building to disarm him. The attacker was tackled to the ground on London Bridge and restrained until armed police arrived.

Khan, who had two large knives and a fake suicide belt, fatally stabbed Cambridge graduates Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, and injured three other people before running on to London Bridge. Khan was shot dead by armed officers.

Recalling his close encounter with the terrorist, Mr Gallant told Channel 4 in 2021: “He came towards me and he opened his jacket and showed me what was an explosive belt strapped to his waist.

“I think he wanted to scare me off. But he was in the midst of a killing spree. I couldn’t just walk away and for some reason, I assumed it was fake.

“And then I looked next to me, and there was a chap next to me holding out a narwhal tusk.”

Speaking earlier this year, Mr Frost – who was the man wielding the narwhal tusk – said: “I’m trying to take positives. It will forever change me, that event.

“That individual [Khan] wanted to divide people that day – I want to do anything I can to achieve the opposite.”

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Among the other people receiving an honour at Windsor Castle today is Conservative MP Andrea Jenkyns who will be awarded a damehood a for her political and public service.

The MP for Morley and Outwood was honoured for her role as the former Tory assistant Whip and Minister for skills on Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list in June. The former barrister has also helped create 10,000 paid internships for disabled students and graduates.

David Wightwick, chief executive officer of UK-Med – a humanitarian medical NGO, will receive a CMG for services to UK humanitarian support. The 30-year humanitarian veteran oversaw UK-Med’s relief effort in Ukraine after the start of the war.

In his career, Mr Wightwick has delivered humanitarian aid to various major disasters including the civil war in Liberia, the West Africa Ebola outbreak, and the Yemeni conflict.

The director of Sky Arts and Entertainment, Philip Jones, is set to receive an OBE for his services to the arts and television, while Dr David Barnes, a polar marine ecologist, will be honoured with the Polar Medal. Dr Barnes is set to join Sir David Attenborough for the polar water trials around the Scotia Sea area in the South Atlantic Ocean.

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