Guardsman Ian Pragnall

During the state visit of China's President Jiang Zemin's to London in October 1999. As the Queen and the Chinese president proceeded along the Mall on 20 Oct a demonstrator rushed the carriage to express his feelings on the Chinese occupation on Tibet. Guardsman Ian Pragnall, part of the ceremonial guard, left his allotted position at the side of the road and charged the demonstrator with fixed bayonet to defend his sovereign. When police intervened to apprehend the man Ian calmly returned to his post.

Ian Pragnall Charges into Action

This photo was taken during the Chinese President's state visit to London. Guardsman Pragnall is in guard order with greatcoat as he steps out of line and charges the man who had jumped the barrier, to protect the Queen.

Ian Pragnall Poses for the Press

Ian Pragnall's story was prominent in the British national press and he posed for photographers in his combat uniform and SA80 rifle, although he was in ceremonial uniform for the incident.

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by Stephen Luscombe