Queen Elizabeth has awarded a British man was an honour close to her heart, giving a retired SAS hero the award for bravery named after her own father King George.
Retired SAS officer, Major Dominic Troulan, became the first civilian in more than 40 years to be awarded the George Cross, after saving hundreds of people during a siege in a Kenyan shopping mall four years ago.
The former soldier, who reportedly spent 20 years in the British army’s special forces, was living in Nairobi and working as a security consultant when Islamic militants attacked the Westgate shopping centre in 2017, killing shoppers and taking hostages.
Troulan heard about the attack from a friend whose wife and daughter were trapped inside, so grabbed a gun, jumped on his motorbike and sped to the mall, where he ran in and out over and over again over several hours, shepherding about 200 people in total – including his friend’s family – out of the danger zone.
Yesterday he accepted the George Cross – the highest award for bravery for civilians awarded in the UK, from the Queen at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
But he called himself merely a “custodian” of the honour, dedicating it to “all victims not only of Westgate but of terrorism generally”.
At today’s Investiture at Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty, The Queen awarded Dominic Troulan with The George Cross for saving lives during a terrorist attack in Kenya. The retired British Army officer and Former Marine repeatedly risked his own life saving others during the 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack. Dominic was working as a security consultant in the capital Nairobi drove to the shopping centre when he heard from a neighbour of the horror unfolding. He managed to locate his friend’s wife and daughter and lead them to safety. He is the first civilian recipient of The George Cross for 40 years.
In a separate Instagram post. the Royal Family explained that the George Cross was created by the Queen’s father, King George VI, in 1940 to recognise the many acts of civilian courage shown in London during the height of the Blitz.
“The George Cross is awarded ‘for acts of the greatest heroism or for most conspicuous courage in circumstance of extreme danger’,” the post said.