Thursday, July 07, 2016

7/7...We Will Always Remember, We Will Never Forget... By Jim Thomas

Eleven years ago today, 52 people were murdered and more than 700 injured when four bombs went off during a busy London rush hour.

The devastating terror attacks left a mark on our nation as one of the worst terrorist incidents in recent history.

Working nights, I was asleep and knew nothing of the carnage which had taken place. The phone rang 
It was my wife Christine who worked for TfL
"Turn the TV on" she said "call me back, I can't talk at the moment it's too emotional".

I turned the TV on, and it was on all channels. 

I remember dropping to me knees in disbelief, hoping to God I was in some sort of nightmare dream.

My Christine never came home that day, she volunteered along with her colleagues to stay at her post and carried on working through the night. 

Chris was seconded to a support unit, set up to help trace the families of victims. Victims were being identified by what was left of their processions. 
My Christine saw images on that day, no one should ever have to witness. 

Many of London's Taxi drivers stopped mid-shift and formed what could only be described as the fourth emergency service. Carrying the walking wounded to and from local hospitals and later on into the early hours, taking exhausted emergency staff workers home.   

I joined the ranks with my colleagues that day/night, many journeys undertaken in stark silence. Although all journeys were being undertaken free, many of the wonderful nurses and auxiliary staff insisted on payment and left money in the tray. But I felt couldn't accept and so later donated to the Rainbow Trust.

I phoned my wife at regular intervals to see if she was ready to come home, but she was adamant not to leave her post. In fact she stayed working till midday on the 8th. 

Later next day, we heard the awful news that Susan, the beautiful wife of my friend Harry had died from injuries sustained on the train underneath Russel Square. 

Susan Levy was the first casualty to be identified from the train, she was rushed to the Royal London hospital but died on arrival. 

An inquest in 2010 heard that legal secretary Mrs Levy "loved her job and was very good at it". Born on 17 December 1951, Susan had become accustomed to sharing the first half of her 17-mile commute from Newgate Street Village, near Cuffley, with her younger son.

On the morning of the attacks she had said goodbye to son Jamie, who got off at Finsbury Park, while she remained on the Piccadilly Line train which exploded underneath Russell Square.

At the inquest, Dr Alistair Mulcahy, a consultant anaesthetist at the Royal London Hospital who was working as a volunteer doctor for the British Association for Immediate Care on 7/7, said Mrs Levy was discovered struggling to breathe with "very severe lacerations" to her legs.

Asked if she could have survived if tourniquets had been applied to her limbs at the scene, he simply said: "Yes".