UK

Queen honours those who lost lives saving others

Andrew Foster Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Andrew Foster was caught in a rockfall in Yosemite National Park, California

A climber who died shielding his wife from a rockfall and a mother who protected her child from a house fire are to be posthumously honoured for their bravery by the Queen.

Andrew Foster, who was killed whilst on a camping trip in the US in 2017, is to be awarded a Queen's Gallantry Medal.

'Devoted' mother Leanne Collopy, who died two years ago, will receive the Queen's Commendation for Bravery.

They are among seven individuals to receive honours this month.

All have been included on this year's Civilian Gallantry List, which recognises acts of bravery by civilians and military personnel "not in the face of the enemy".

Nominations are considered by the George Cross Committee, which advises the Queen.

Mr Foster, 32, who lived in Cardiff, was walking with his wife, Lucy, in Yosemite National Park in California, when they were caught in a 1,000 tonne rockfall.

When Mrs Foster lost her footing, her husband ran back and lay on top of her to protect her from the falling rocks, which were reportedly the size of cars.

Mr Foster suffered fatal injuries, but his wife was rescued and made a full recovery.

Ms Collopy was subject to a sustained, brutal attack by her former partner, Saleem Said, in July 2017.

Said had come to the home where she lived with their two-year-old daughter, in Rawtenstall, Lancashire, armed with a kitchen knife.

There, he stabbed Ms Collopy in the head and body and doused her in petrol, before setting fire to the house.

Police found her child in wet clothing, with the window open, suggesting Ms Collopy had been trying to get her daughter out to safety.

Both were rescued by officers but Ms Collopy died in hospital from her injuries.

Her family said they were "immensely proud and honoured that Leanne's final actions as a devoted mum have been acknowledged in such a way".

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Leanne Collopy helped save the life of her daughter

PC Mark Fletcher, of Lancashire Police, also receives the Queen's Commendation for Bravery for his role in pulling Ms Collopy, her daughter and Said from the fire.

Said was later jailed for life for murder and arson with intent to endanger life.

'Incredibly honoured'

Luke Ridley, who pulled a driver from a burning car on the A303 in Amesbury, Wiltshire, in November last year, will also receive the Queen's Gallantry Medal.

Mr Ridley, who had seen the vehicle veer off the road, cut the driver's seatbelt and dragged her to safety through the rear of the car.

The woman was uninjured, but attending officers said if Mr Ridley had not acted she would have died - the car was engulfed in flames two minutes after they arrived at the scene.

Mr Ridley said he was "incredibly honoured" to receive the award.

"It's a wonderful feeling to know that I saved a life and that people have found my actions to be worthy of recognition," he added.

Kieran Doble receives the same award for intercepting an armed man who entered the family home in Bournemouth in August 2018, intent on killing his mother.

Mr Doble suffered knife wounds to his chest, arm, chin and neck as he fought off the attacker.

Two police officers with Nottinghamshire Police, Sergeant Matthew Daley and Temporary Sergeant Jodi Leonardi, are also being given the Queen's Commendation for Bravery, for disarming a man holding a handgun, while a care home was evacuated during a fire in October last year.

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