OBE for Saffron Walden solicitor who helped maritime hostages

PUBLISHED: 10:20 05 January 2017 | UPDATED: 15:42 05 January 2017

James Gosling

James Gosling

Archant

Hostages rescued from pirates were helped by an extraordinary man from Saffron Walden, who has been awarded an OBE last week (December 30).

James Christopher Gosling, 61, was a solicitor and partner at Holman Fenwick Willan in 2005 when he devised a system to help people who had been captured return home.

He helped people involved in around 120 to 130 hijacks, with about five or six of those from “particularly distressing” cases of people who had no money and no hope of resolving the issue.

For these people, the service was free, and money was fund raised to help them get out of the hostage situation.

Mr Gosling said: “I was quite surprised when I heard, I really thought what we have been doing wasn’t the centre of official approval.

“We helped hostages who had noone to look after them and no money to pay to resolve the issue, with some really harrowing stories.

“When people donated money, people you wouldn’t expect, it really restored my faith in human kind.”

He thanked his wife for the support she has given him through the stressful periods of trying to get someone released.

Since retiring in August, Mr Gosling has been trying to use his hands, he says – fixing cars, doing home improvements, and brewing beer.

As a family man, Mr Gosling has lived in Saffron Walden for more than 30 years with his wife and two children, who grew up here and went to St Thomas More Catholic Primary School.

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