Woolwich Petition Handed To Downing Street
A petition backed by more than 85,000 people calling for bravery medals to be given to three women who intervened in the aftermath of the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby has been delivered to Downing Street.
Rector of Woolwich Reverend Jesse van der Valk, who is behind the scheme, said that the trio's courage had given comfort to the young soldier's family.
Ingrid Loyau-Kennett was thrust into the spotlight after calmly approaching one of Drummer Rigby's alleged attackers as the young soldier lay injured in the middle of the road.
Amanda Donnelly and her daughter Gemini Donnelly-Martin insisted on being allowed to sit with the 25-year-old to try to comfort him.
Rev van der Valk said:
"They showed enormous courage and compassion to Drummer Lee Rigby at what turned out to be the end of his life, and that's an amazing thing.
"That's something that people feel strongly about and they want to see them rewarded for what they did.
"People see small or major things happening on the street and don't always intervene because of fear of the consequences. These women did and most people think that's something that should be recognised.
"I think for Lee himself and for his wife, child and family it has made a big difference to know that they were there.
"We hope the Government will recognise what the ladies have done and award them the George Medal."
Drummer Rigby, who had a two-year-old son, was murdered near Woolwich barracks in south-east London on May 22.
He was hit by a car and then attacked with a meat cleaver by two people.
Ms Donnelly told the Sunday People that she and her daughter do not feel that they deserve medals but, if one was awarded, she would give hers to Drummer Rigby's son.
She said: "If we were given medals, then I would love to give mine to Lee's son.
"He's going to grow up without a dad now, which is so sad, so it may give him something to hold on to.
"But really we don't want medals. We don't feel we deserve them. All we did was act on instinct."
The petition, addressed to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, says that the women's actions helped prevent anyone else being hurt that day.
They have been dubbed "the Angels of Woolwich" for their selfless actions.
It says: "The fact that no other bystander was hurt in the incident is testament to the courageous actions of these women.
"As the people of Woolwich come to terms with what happened here, coming together to honour the heroines of that day will send a positive message of unity and peace. "