Dominic Troulan receives his George Cross for saving over 200 during Westgate terror attack

Retired British Army officer and former Royal Marine, Dominic Troulan, has collected his George Cross from the Queen during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The 54-year old, who now works in risk management in Kenya, was awarded the honour in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours for his actions during the 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack, becoming the first civilian recipient of the award for over 40 years.

Speaking after the service, Mr Troulan said: “While I take this award – and very humbled and honoured I am to receive it from Her Majesty – it is definitvely (from) a position of custodian for all the victims not only of Westgate but of terrorism generally.

The world over the last few years has got worse, arguably.

“And when you see all the incidents in the UK and in Kenya on that very day, and in other parts of the world, it is the good human beings that amaze people how they stand up and help – medically, logistically – and stand up for the right and good of democracy,” he added.

Mr Troulan was working as a security consultant in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, when a group of Al-Shabaab terrorists entered the Westgate shopping centre and started firing on men, women and children.

Armed with a 9mm pistol, the former Royal Marine raced by motorbike to the scene and first rescued a friend’s wife and daughter after receiving a phone call asking for help.

Realising a large numbers of shoppers remained trapped, he bravely re-entered the mall more than 12 times, helping to rescue around 200 people.

His citation says: “He was fired on twice by the terrorists but managed to force them back… exhausted, dehydrated and at the limit of his mental capacity. He was about to stop when a distress call was received from a woman who was trapped, injured and bleeding. Once again, Mr Troulan entered the mall and brought the woman to safety.”

The retired officer, originally from Banbury, Oxfordshire, still keeps in touch with some of those he saved.

“The horrific carnage that the terrorists managed to conduct in pretty short order really will live with all of us that were involved there, both the hostages, the victims’ families and extended friends who were actually in there and saw it first-hand,” he said.

Troulan served in the British Armed Forces for over 20 years, first in the Royal Marines and subsequently in the British Army.

George Cross
The George Cross is awarded ‘for acts of the greatest heroism or for most conspicuous courage in circumstance of extreme danger’.

The George Cross was last awarded to a civilian to John Clements, a teacher who died rescuing pupils of Sherrardswood School, Welwyn Garden City from a burning hotel in Italy in 1976.