Ipswich: Support to honour Woolwich heroine Ingrid Loyau-Kennett

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett looks at floral tributes to Drummer Lee Rigby at the Royal Artillery Barracks

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett looks at floral tributes to Drummer Lee Rigby at the Royal Artillery Barracks - Credit: PA

A petition to award Britain’s highest civilian honour to the mother who confronted one of the suspected terrorists accused of murdering soldier Drummer Lee Rigby has attracted nearly 60,000 signatures.

The campaign to award Ingrid Loyau-Kennett as well as Amanda Donnelly and her daughter Gemini Donnelly-Martin the George medal, which is awarded to civilians for acts of great bravery, has been spearheaded by Woolwich rector Rev Jesse van der Valk.

Miss Loyau-Kennett, 48, formerly of Charles Place, Grundisburgh, calmly spoke to the alleged attackers while Amanda and Gemini comforted the 25-year-old soldier as he lay on the ground outside the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, London, on May 22.

Rev van der Valk said: “The fact that no other bystander was hurt in the incident is testament to the courageous actions of these women.

“As the Rector of Woolwich I saw how the tragedy hit this community hard, but the actions of Gemma, Amanda and Ingrid has been an inspiration to all of us.

“Instead of running away when they saw danger they went straight to the heart of it.”

Miss Loyau-Kennett, a former Snowy Owl Brownie leader in Ipswich, was travelling on a bus to Victoria when the horrific events unfolded last month.

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She spoke to the men for around 10 minutes.

The mother-of-two said: “All that time more and more people were stopping and I was keen to keep him talking in case other soldiers came past. “It was just really daunting with all those eyes on me and I was quite scared because there were lots of mothers stopping with their kids.”

But Miss Loyau-Kennett does not believe she is a heroine compared to her grandfather who fought during the Second World War.

Rev van der Valk added: “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.”

The petition will be presented to the Ministry of Defence and Prime Minister David Cameron.

Visit www.change.org to sign the “Award the George Medal to the Woolwich heroines” petition.