A construction worker has recently been praised for his heroic actions during the London attacks last week. On Saturday 3rd June, forty-seven-year-old tradesman Gerard Vowls was watching the Champions League final in the pub.
Then, when he was set to leave and go home, three men appeared wielding knives. Mr Vowls described, “they just looked blank. They were in another frame of mind.”
As they began to attack the patrons of the pub, the construction worker remarked about how organised they were. He stated: “they just didn’t care who they killed.”
“They knew what they wanted to do, and it was to stab people. They just wouldn’t stop.”
Amid the chaos, Mr Vowls also noticed the three attackers all focus on one woman. Whilst they were stabbing the woman, one of the attackers was reported to have cried “this is for Allah.”
With the victim crying for help, the tradesman sprung into action. He attempted to throw a bike at the attackers which resulted in the attackers darting off. Mr Vowls then described to The Times the scene that took place next: “the three of them ran off towards Borough Market. They got as far as the Globe [pub] and some guy came round the corner saying, ‘Run, run, run, they’ve got knives. They’re terrorists. They’re going to kill you.'”
“But he was too late.”
“They got to him. He got stabbed as well.”
“At the Southwark Tavern, I saw a black guy — he was the doorman — get stabbed. He was on the floor.”
“I was telling everyone, ‘go, go, go. They’ve got knives, they’re terrorists’.
“As they left, I was going, ‘Oi, cowards!’ I chucked a bottle at them, pint glasses, stools, chairs — whatever I could find.”
“The police came, but they were going the wrong way. I thought, ‘if they follow me, the police can get to the main road and the police can shoot them’.”
Describing the attackers diving into different buildings, Mr Vowls stated: “I heard him screaming. It was like a battle. A sword battle.”
After the attack, Mr Vowls returned to one of the pubs on the Market. There, he spoke to those that had been caught up in the violence. He described to The Times that one man had been told his friend had been stabbed and killed. Sat crying at the table, the construction worker attempted to comfort the stranger. Once back at home though, the memory of that night haunted him, especially regarding the woman who had been pleading for help.
Gerard Vowls wasn’t the only hero construction worker to help people in the wake of the attack. Plumber Paul Ashworth also played his part in lending a helping hand. He rode his bike for over two hours to get to the sight of the London Bridge. There, he helped the emergency services, distributing water to those who needed it. Take a look at the full story here.