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Submariner’s Family Awarded With His Posthumous Medal

Buckingham Palace Investiture.

16/11/2012

The widow of Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux, who was tragically killed in a shooting on board HMS Astute last year, has been awarded with his posthumous George Medal for bravery.

The GM is such a fitting tribute and will stand as a reminder of the bravery that Ian demonstrated on board that day. The memory of Ian and all that he stood and died for will now remain embedded in his medal.
Gill Molyneux

Gill Molyneux, her sons Jamie (15) and Arron (13) and father-in law James received the award at the investiture held at Buckingham Palace today (Friday).

Lt Cdr Molyneux, from Wigan, was the Weapons Engineer Officer in HMS Astute. He was killed at the age of 36 following an incident in the submarine in which an armed sentry unexpectedly fired his rifle within the confines of the control room of the submarine whilst it was alongside in Southampton on 8 April 2011.

On hearing the sound of shots, Lt Cdr Molyneux made a rapid assessment of the situation before immediately moving to disarm the sentry but was shot and died instantly.

The sentry then proceeded to shoot and injure another officer before being grappled to the deck by two of the nearest visitors. The incident lasted less than 20 seconds.

Lt Cdr Molyneux, with complete disregard for his own safety, had deliberately made an effort to tackle the gunman, knowingly putting himself into extreme danger in order to try to safeguard others from personal injury.

His actions were incalculably brave and were carried out in the highest possible Service traditions of courage and selfless commitment, resulting ultimately in providing just enough disruption to the sentry’s intent to enable him to be subsequently overwhelmed and disarmed.

In a letter to Lt Cdr Molyneux’s widow, Gill Molyneux, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, said:

“In giving his life to save others Ian demonstrated courage of the highest possible order. His selfless actions displayed incredible presence of mind and singular bravery.”

Mrs Molyneux said:

“The children and I are extremely proud that Ian has been issued such a prestigious award.

"It is with great pride that I am to attend the Ceremony at the Palace on Friday, with my two eldest sons, to receive it on his behalf, albeit with such immense sadness that Ian isn't here to receive it in person.

“The GM is such a fitting tribute and will stand as a reminder of the bravery that Ian demonstrated on board that day.

"The memory of Ian and all that he stood and died for will now remain embedded in his medal.”

Admiral Stanhope said:

“Cllr Smith and Mr Neill showed tremendous bravery.

"The Royal Navy as a whole, the ship’s company of HMS Astute and their families will always owe a debt of gratitude for their actions in preventing further death or injury on that tragic day.”

At the investiture five other personnel were also recognised for their achievements:

  • Fleet Commander Admiral George Zambellas was awarded the Most Honourable Order of Bath – the Knight Grand Cross (KCB).
  • Vice Admiral Richard, Chief of Defence Intelligence received the Most Honourable Order of Bath – Companion (CB)
  • Rear Admiral Cunningham, former Assistant Chief Naval Staff Aircraft and Carriers was awarded Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)
  • Warrant Officer Ceri Lewis of 42 Commando Royal Marines received the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services as the unit’s welfare officer.
  • Captain Ross Ferris of Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fort Austin was awarded the Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO).

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