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Jun
2017
Saturday 17th
posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

AN EX-MINER who was stabbed trying to defend Labour MP Jo Cox when she was murdered last year is to be awarded the George Medal.

Bernard Kenny, 78, intervened when Ms Cox was shot and stabbed on June 16 last year in her Batley and Spen constituency in West Yorkshire.

Far right-wing attacker Thomas Mair is serving a whole-life sentence for her murder.

National Union of Mineworkers general secretary Chris Kitchen welcomed the award to pensioner Mr Kenny, who said: “It just shows that the camaraderie and the sense of looking after each other down the pit extended beyond his working life and into the community.”

Mr Kenny was waiting for his wife outside Birstall library when he saw Mair going “berserk.”

He said in statement to police: “I thought if I could jump on to the back I could take him down.

“I thought he was thumping her until I saw the blood. I saw he had a knife in his hands. It was what I call a dagger. The blade was about nine inches.

“Just as I got short of him, he turned around and saw me. He shoved the knife in and it hit me in the stomach.

“The blood started pouring out between my fingers. I saw the blood and I thought: ‘Oh my God’.”

Mr Kenny, who made a full recovery from the knife wound, was a member of the Gomersal Mines Rescue team in Yorkshire who tried to save victims of the Lofthouse colliery disaster in 1973.

An inrush of water from a long-abandoned shaft swept through new workings deep underground at the colliery, near Wakefield.
Despite six days of heroic rescue attempts, seven miners died. Only one body was recovered.

Mr Kitchen said: “Mr Kenny deserves the award. When people help others it should be recognised.

“Nowadays our society seems to be about looking after number one. Other people who saw what he saw might have thought of themselves first. Bernard Kenny didn’t.”

Events are taking place nationwide this weekend to mark one year since her death with mosques sharing food with the public, picnics and school events are planned, and Ms Cox’s husband Brendan spoke of the “nationwide wave of compassion and kindness” being shown across Britain

peterlazenby@peoples-press.com




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