Hero military veteran, 88, declares 'fear is not in my dictionary' as he saves woman from five knife-wielding robbers

Sara Spary
War veteran, John Nixon - Evening Standard / eyevine

An 88-year-old military veteran has been praised for "extraordinary bravery" after fighting off a gang of five robbers to rescue a young woman from being mugged.

John Nixon, a widower, told the Evening Standard he trained as a commando at the Achnacarry depot in the Highlands in the 1940s and fought in the Korean War.

In fighting off the gang, he was cut in the head and on his hands after he karate chopped one of the knife-wielding attackers to the ground in Kentish town, northwest London.

He said stepped in to help after seeing the group of youths grab at the woman's handbag before being slashed with what he described as a pocket knife.

“My initial thoughts were to divert their attention away from the girl who was screaming. I shouted ‘leave her alone’,” he told the newspaper.

The 88-year-old former commando who rescued a young woman from two knife-wielding robbers Credit: Evening Standard

“But they turned on me, saying ‘We’ll take your money instead’ and I said ‘No you don’t’. Kids this age are full of bravado, you see, they weren’t expecting a surprise.

My training kicked in. I landed a blow to his neck which rendered him semi-conscious.

John Nixon

“My training kicked in. I landed a blow to his neck which rendered him semi-conscious. I disabled one but another one pulled out a knife so I had to try and deal with him too."

Speaking of his bravery, Mr Nixon added: “Fear is not in my dictionary.”

Detective Inspector Will Lexton-Jones from the London Metropolitan Police praised Mr Nixon, who said he had joined an elite special services unit in his military career and had been on intelligence missions to Germany, Egypt and the Middle East, for his “extraordinary bravery”. 

A spokesperson for the force added: “A member of the public saw the altercation take place and intervened. The woman managed to run away but the man was attacked and suffered minor injuries."

No arrests have been made.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes