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Officer awarded George Cross for stopping armed gang to attend Queen’s funeral

Retired Met officer is among 17 recipients of VC and GC who will be taking part

A former police officer awarded the George Cross after being shot at 15 times has said he is “incredibly moved” to be attending the Queen’s funeral.

It is understood 17 recipients of the Victoria Cross and George Cross are to attend the service at Westminster Abbey on Monday and will be involved in the proceedings.

Among them is Tony Gledhill, 84, who was awarded the George Cross in May 1967 for an act of bravery for pursuing a recklessly driven car containing five armed criminals in Deptford, south London, less than a year earlier.

He told the PA news agency:  “We are very fortunate in the association (Victoria Cross and George Cross Association) to meet royalty and we were all able to meet the Queen during her life, she was like a mother, when I spoke to her she was inquisitive and remembered things.

“I remember how fantastic it was going to St James’s Palace for my investiture, the Queen was very warm and would smile at my wife and children, who were aged three and five.

“I was first on the list and the 161st was a Yeoman Bed Hanger, who marched across with grey hair, a grey beard, pantaloons, a red top, black shoes and white stockings, my little girl called out ‘there’s Father Christmas’, and the Queen laughed.

“After, she came across to my wife, and said ‘don’t worry my dear, we all have families’, which was lovely.”

On August 25, 1966, then aged 29, Mr Gledhill serving as a Met officer and his colleague pursued the vehicle in a car on the wrong side of the road and against the one-way traffic.

The unarmed officers were shot at  15 times with a sawn-off shotgun and revolvers during the 80mph chase, before their car crashed into a lorry, causing them to flee.

One of them tried to hijack the police car at gunpoint, ordering the officers to leave it, which they did, but as he tried to drive away, Mr Gledhill grabbed the gun and was dragged along as the vehicle accelerated.

The officers, although both injured, managed to detain the criminal.

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