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 
"Hello" 
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".


7 comments:

Ian Stewart said...

i wonder if uber will take over as the fourth unpaid emergency service when we,re extinct,or will they surge charge?

South African bernie said...

I'm also a taxi driver and new Harry Lewy for many years we work at London Airport and also the rank at Dover street wine bar. He loved his wife very much and the days after 7/7 I spent many hours talking to Harry when was frantically looking for his wife something I will never forget He was told this hospital and that hospital and he had to try and find either the body or parts of the body that would identify her .I got the the phone call he had found her but the news wasn't good.In the weeks after the event Harry and I would sit and talk about his two sons which now live in Australia He was so proud of them and this was the only way he survived mentally.When Harry died as respect to him and his family he was member of chapter of Harley Davison and so many drove as outriders to bring the coffin from his home to the crematorium at Goldersgreen his to sons were there to put Harry to rest He was a great friend who had to deal with such a lose God rest his soul Bernie xxx

Anonymous said...

Nice post James. A taxi trade with drivers to be proud of

Anonymous said...

We are the worlds finest NEVER forget that even though others have.

John said...

Great post... It gave me chills. Definitely a taxi trade to be proud of.

Anonymous said...

I'm also a London cabbie, and proud to be so.
If ( and I hope that day never comes) there is another major terrorist incident in London, one thing you can be sure of is, London taxis drivers will respond as they did before. We are part of what makes London great, we have invested in making/keeping London the great place it is.
I'm all for fair competition, but unfortunately we are not playing on a level playing field when it comes to the like of Uber etc. but that's for another time.
It seems that in London, The only thing that matters is the bottom line ££

What does make me laugh is, you see many people proudly showing off their designer handbags shoes clothes etc, they are proud to show they have the latest fashions, yet they use a 2nd class minicar service to save a couple of pound£, or maybe I am wrong? Maybe the people who know real class and buy the real thing do use the famous London taxi, maybe it's the people with the fake designer gear that uses the likes of uber, because let's face it, those who really know, are the ones that know you get what you pay for, quality cost.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy, thank you for sharing this.
It must be hard for people who lost love ones one this day, a day when the trade stepped up to the mark.
Something we do without thinking.
When TfL closed the stations on rememberance Sunday, it was the Taxi trade who came forward to pick up the war heroes.
TFL had the cheek the following year to offer up a bus with the poppy livery as they were in the dog house where they belong.
Tomorrow, there is another outing taking seriously ill and underprivileged children on a day out to the sea side. Following on from last month's outing and the one the month before that.
We just do it, we have always done it.
But who will do it when we are gone?