Episode from the podcastYour London Legacy

What Justin And Ellen Did When They Stumbled Into An Horrific Terror Attack On London Bridge

Released Monday, 20th May 2019
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I want you to imagine for a minute that you are taking a stroll across London Bridge on a beautiful balmy summers evening with the love of your life by your side. Across the road, you suddenly notice what appears to be a fight taking place. In fact, you soon realize that there are three men dressed in black viciously attacking a police officer. You run over to try and help—when one of the assailants lunges at you with a large kitchen knife.
This is not a made-up story. This is real life. This is what happened to Justin Jones and his partner Ellen Gauntlett on 3rd June 2017. Little did they know, they had stumbled straight into the middle of a terrorist attack that went on to claim the lives of 8 innocent victims while injuring and changing the lives of dozens more. Justin and Ellen are two remarkable young people whose exceptional bravery no doubt saved lives, for which they have received several special awards.
This is the story of two ordinary but very special Londoners—and this is Your London Legacy.

“There were just people lying on the pavement…where they’d obviously just run past and stabbed people.”

Ellen and Justin typically relax on weekends by taking walks or rehearsing for musicals—as they both love to sing. Back in June of 2017 they had just finished a run of a musical and were going out to celebrate Justin’s upcoming birthday. After going to a Lego exhibition on the South bank, and failing to find a restaurant they wanted to eat at, they came back across London Bridge. Not finding that restaurant would forever change their lives—as Justin noticed three men in all black assaulting a police officer on the bridge.
Without hesitating he crossed the road to help, and that’s when one of the attackers turned a pink kitchen knife on Justin. The terrorist lunged at Justin, missing by only a foot—and then the three men ran off. It was then Ellen came over and found the bodies on the ground with Justin. Charlie, an off duty police officer who had come to help the other officer, was still conscious on the ground. Justin and Ellen kept pressure on his wounds with their hands—and then began to soak in the breadth of the attack. A van crashed into the steps of a church, and more victims laid out on the pavement. They stayed with Charlie because it was something they could control and help with immediately.

Other police and medical professionals showed up but Ellen and Justin refused to leave Charlie’s side, riding to the hospital with him. They finally had a moment to breath at the hospital. They sat down on a couch and finally took everything in. They were there amongst other victims—and after what they had seen on the bridge they knew not everyone was going to make it.
Ellen and Justin weren’t the only civilians to share incredible stories of bravery. Many Londoners warded off the terrorists with whatever they had. Bread crates. A skateboard. Pushing them out of a pub to save the people inside. It was a clear instance of Londoners coming together under the most extreme circumstances to be there for one another. And two years on, Ellen and Justin don’t find themselves wrapped in hate and negativity over the terrorists themselves—they’ve focused on staying connected to those they were involved with, making friends, and only remembering those who were lost.


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Your London Legacy was born out of my love for London. I have travelled far and wide, and as much I get so much pleasure from seeing new places around the world, I always look forward to getting back home to London. I cannot think of anywhere else in the world, that has the same depth of history, the coming together of ancient and new cultures, fashions and religions and our hard-won freedom of speech. London is a global leader in banking and has the highest concentration of Universities and further education in Europe. It attracts vast number of business travelers and international students, and visitors, and has some of the very best restaurants anywhere in the world. But for all that is changing London has retained that classic element that sets it apart from every capital in the world. From the ancient icons like the Tower of London to musical phenomena such as Adele, this sprawling wonder of humanity has an endless supply of attractions. But on their own, attractions tell only part of London’s incredible story. For without Londoners there would be no attractions and no story, and without Londoners, there would be no legacy. The legacy that we can all too easily take for granted as we wander round London’s ancient streets, sip coffee in her beautiful parks, share a beer with our mates in her wonderful pubs, or as we take in one the myriad of world class museums. There are over 8 million residents in London, from the inner-city housing estate, to the urban sprawl and ever growing suburbs to the luxury of Kensington and Belgravia. No matter where Londoners live, they are all part of the wonderful melting pot that makes Londoners what they are. Unique. Young and old, rich and poor, they all have a story to tell. A story of passion, of struggle, belonging, laughter, creating, desperation, and yes sometimes loneliness and fear. London is far from perfect, but it is home and has been since the Romans settled in 50AD. And it keeps on growing year on year, so we must be doing something right. Londoner’s are a special breed. They are about spirit and embracing changes that are constantly going on around them. Your London Legacy tells the timeless stories of London’s hidden personalities’’ by interviewing Londoners from every walk of life, in every community. It was born out of my desire to share the legacy of Londoners with you. We all have a story to tell. I’m Steve Lazarus and this is Your London Legacy.

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51m 11s
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