Shoreham Airshow team awarded highest Red Cross honour

Terry Alexander
Image caption Terry Alexander, who was among the volunteers, treated 23-year-old Thomas Millburn for burns

A team of British Red Cross workers who treated people injured in the Shoreham Airshow disaster have been given the organisation's highest honour.

The 66 staff and volunteers who worked on the day the Hawker Hunter crashed on the A27 and in the weeks afterwards have received the Dunant Award.

The award was last made to British Red Cross team members following the 1998 Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland.

Eleven people were killed in the Shoreham disaster on 22 August.

"It's an award for teams of volunteers that go over an above their normal day's work," said Richard Tyler, the team manager, who was also awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours.

"I am a staff member but all of the team around me were volunteers.

"I can't praise them enough."

Image copyright British Red Cross
Image caption Thomas Millburn, who spent 10 days in hospital, later met up with Red Cross volunteers who helped him

Among the volunteers on duty on 22 August was Terry Alexander, who has worked with the British Red Cross for 20 years.

She treated 23-year-old Thomas Millburn, who was taking pictures of the airshow from the A27 and was badly burned.

"We couldn't get him out of the site straight away, which meant he was going to be in pain for longer and that was really difficult," she said.

"He was an incredibly brave young man."

Image caption Team manager Richard Tyler said he could not praise the volunteers highly enough
Image copyright EPA
Image caption The Hawker Hunter jet crashed on to the A27 during the airshow in August

A team of 42 British Red Cross personnel were working at the airshow to provide first aid and ambulance support for the event.

As well as helping the South East Coast Ambulance crew, which was first at the scene of the crash, volunteers treated the walking wounded.

They also helped those among the 20,000 spectators who needed medical treatment.

In the days that followed, British Red Cross emergency support teams helped the emergency and recovery teams clear the site and manned a telephone for anyone affected by the disaster, which took 30 calls over two weeks.

Tony Kemp, a nurse who was among the team who pulled pilot Andy Hill from the wreckage of the plane, has been awarded the Special Service Cross by the British Red Cross.

The victims:

Image copyright BBC/Sussex Police/Facebook
Image caption (Top row, left to right) Matt Jones, Matthew Grimstone, Jacob Schilt, Maurice Abrahams, Richard Smith. (Bottom row, left to right) Mark Reeves, Tony Brightwell, Mark Trussler, Daniele Polito, Dylan Archer, Graham Mallinson
  • Matt Jones, a 24-year-old personal trainer
  • Matthew Grimstone, 23, a Worthing United footballer who worked as a groundsman at Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Jacob Schilt, also 23 and also a Worthing United player, was travelling to a match with Mr Grimstone
  • Maurice Abrahams, 76, from Brighton, was a chauffeur on his way to pick up a bride on her wedding day
  • Friends Richard Smith, 26, and Dylan Archer, 42, who were going for a bike ride on the South Downs
  • Mark Reeves, 53, had ridden his motorcycle to the perimeter of Shoreham Airport to take photos of the planes
  • Tony Brightwell, 53, from Hove was an aircraft enthusiast and had learnt to fly at Shoreham airfield
  • Mark Trussler, 54, is thought to have been riding his motorcycle on the A27
  • Daniele Polito was travelling in the same car as Mr Jones
  • Graham Mallinson, 72, from Newick, was a keen photographer and retired engineer

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