Grace O'Malley-Kumar's father describes 'role model' daughter amid George Cross campaign

The family of Grace O'Malley-Kumar speak during the vigil
Sanjoy Kumar speaking during the vigil for the Nottingham attacks victims in the days after the tragedy -Credit:Joseph Raynor/Nottingham Post

The father of Grace O'Malley-Kumar says it would be a "better country" if more followed his daughter's example as calls grow to award her a George Cross medal. The 19-year-old University of Nottingham student was one of three people killed in the Nottingham attacks on June 13, 2023.

Grace chose to try and save her friend, 19-year-old Barnaby Webber, instead of fleeing Valdo Calocane. Her actions on that tragic day have led to calls for her to be posthumously given one of the highest awards in the honours system.

The George Cross was created in 1940 and recognises acts of extreme bravery carried out by civilians and military personnel. There have been over 400 recipients, with the most recent being Major Dominic Troulan.

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Major Troulan was given the award in 2017 after rescuing hundreds from Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall whilst it was under fire from terrorists. On the idea of his daughter being given the medal, Sanjoy Kumar, speaking at a new hockey tournament created in her memory, said: "We were humbled when we heard about the fact that people wanted to nominate her.

"If she could be a role model to young ladies today, I think you would get a better world. I think England needs young ladies like her so if that means that it'll bring more recognition and she can be followed by people in her example, I think it would be a better country for it."

The Prime Minister is understood to support the campaign to get Grace a George Cross, but the final decision could be a while in coming. The Cabinet Office told Nottinghamshire Live that all applications go through a process of validation and that it can take at least 18 months to be fully considered, sometimes longer.

Ian Coates, Barnaby Webber and Grace OMalley-Kumar
Ian Coates, Barnaby Webber and Grace OMalley-Kumar -Credit:PA Media

The George Cross Committee meets on two-to-three times a year on average to consider cases. A spokesperson for the Prime Minister previously said: "I think the Prime Minister would certainly want to get behind nominations and he'd pay tribute to the bravery that Grace demonstrated whilst faced with perilous and terrifying circumstances."

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