Pensioner who died trying to save a nurse from a knife attack was honored for his bravery
A heroic pensioner who died trying to save a nurse from a ‘horrific’ knife attack at a Co-Op store has been recognized for his bravery.
John Rees, 88, did not hesitate to intervene to stop Zara Radcliffe’s rampage in the village of Penygraig, Rhondda, South Wales on May 5, 2020.
The church bell ringer was standing at the counter when he saw her come in and start stabbing passing customers with a kitchen knife.
He grabbed Radcliffe’s right arm, which was holding the knife, and stepped between her and Nurse Gaynor Saurin while attempting to defuse the situation.
But as Radcliffe fell forward, Mr Rees lost his balance and fell backward.
Lisa Way and Ayette Bounouri stepped in to help him, with Mrs. Way grabbing Radcliffe’s arm with the knife while Mrs. Bounouri attempted to disarm her with a shopping basket.
Both women tried desperately to distract Radcliffe as she tried to stab Mrs Way several times while Mrs Bounouri tried to get Mr Rees to safety.
In a final act of bravery, he tried to grab the knife but had to back down.
Grandfather Mr. Rees was eventually stabbed to death with two bottles of wine and a fire extinguisher and beaten to death.
All three were awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal, the last to be recognized by the late Queen Elizabeth II.
Wales’ Foreign Secretary David TC Davies said: “The three people from South Wales who received these awards found themselves in a terrible situation but all showed true heroism in standing up to protect others – actions that saw Mr Rees sadly passed away.
“Mrs. Way, Mrs Bounouri and Mr Rees faced the most appalling danger that day, and it is true that all three were decorated for their bravery.
“I thank them for their courage and willingness to take big risks to help others.”
Among the 15 recipients are the four men who confronted convicted terrorist Usman Khan when he carried out an attack at the Learning Together event at Fishmongers’ Hall in London on November 29, 2019.
Steven Gallant, John Crilly, Darryn Frost and Lukasz Koczocik helped disarm and hold Khan, who had two large knives and a fake suicide belt, until armed police arrived at the scene.
Speaking on behalf of the government, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden, thanked the recipients for their “selfless actions”.
“We all hope that we will react boldly in the face of danger. These people passed that test and responded in an admirable way,” he said.
“Their selfless actions have saved lives and I want to thank them deeply for their willingness to put themselves at risk to protect others.
“You are all most worthy winners of Her Majesty the late Queen’s last civil awards for bravery.”
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at email@example.com.
For more stories like this, Visit our news page.
Get the top news, feel-good stories, analysis and more
https://metro.co.uk/2023/03/17/pensioner-who-died-trying-to-save-nurse-from-knife-attack-honoured-for-bravery-18464027/ Pensioner who died trying to save a nurse from a knife attack was honored for his bravery