Medal for CBBC man Anton Turner killed in elephant charge

Anton Turner's family The family of Anton Turner collected the Queen's Gallantry Medal

An ex-soldier who was killed while protecting others, including children, from a charging elephant has been posthumously honoured for his bravery.

Anton Turner, 38, was an expedition guide for a CBBC programme tracing the footsteps of explorer David Livingstone in Africa when he died in October 2009.

He had stood in the path of the bull elephant and tried to frighten it away.

The monarch presented the Queen's Gallantry Medal to Anton's father Maj Timothy Turner.

The medal honours his son's bravery "for facing a charging elephant in order to protect others".

The bravery of Turner, from Herefordshire, was also recognised by the Royal Humane Society's In Memoriam Testimonial in 2010.

'A hero'

Mr Turner, who had been in the 1st Battalion the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, was fatally injured by the elephant in the Mbarika Mountains, Tanzania.

He had been chief guide for the CBBC series Serious Explorers.

Anton Turner Anton Turner's actions saved others

He had been at the head of the expedition party which included three children, the TV crew and two trackers.

The young bull elephant had unexpectedly charged the group, coming out of foliage at very close proximity.

"The elephant was in full charge and clearly angry, with its trunk down close to its body," the society said.

Anton tried to frighten off the elephant and grabbed hold of its trunk to divert it, before being thrown to the ground.

His efforts allowed other members of the group to escape unharmed, it added.

Anton's mother Patricia, sister Georgina and other family members accompanied Maj Turner to the ceremony at Buckingham Palace from their Herefordshire home.

Maj Turner said: "He was a hero. He was without fear and if he had a job to do, a duty to do, he would do it, whether it was in the Army or the bush in Africa.

"He stood in front of the elephant to save other people. He stood his ground. All we have now is his medal."

The BBC published a report into Mr Turner's death three months after the incident which concluded it had been a tragic accident.

The report also made a number of recommendations and identified examples of good practice by the production team.

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