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Queen's Gallantry Medal for Smeato

19.12.07

Hero baggage handler John Smeaton is to be honoured by the Queen for his bravery during the terrorist attack at Glasgow Airport. Downing Street has announced that he will receive the Queen's Gallantry Medal, which is awarded to civilians for acts of bravery.

The 31-year-old became an international celebrity after helping to tackle suspects from a burning Jeep that crashed into the airport on June 30, and then describing his actions to waiting television crews. He said that receiving the medal was 'the ultimate,' describing it as 'an honour and a half.'

Mr. Smeaton was one of several members of the public and emergency services who went to help during the attack. He came to the aid of a police officer, tackling one of the terrorists. He then moved injured people away from a burning vehicle which could have exploded.

After his efforts on that day, Mr. Smeaton described the encounter to the world's TV cameras and has since been treated like a hero. As reported last month, he has resigned from his baggage handling job to take up a role as head of security at an airport car park.

In addition to Mr. Smeaton, two Metropolitan Police explosives officers who risked their lives to disarm car bombs in London in June are to receive bravery awards. Paul Humphrey will receive the Queen's Gallantry Medal and Gary Wright the Queen's Commendation for Bravery.

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