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 'We got strength through our bond of pain'

Evening Standard, The (London, England) - November 2, 2005

  • Author/Byline: PATRICK SAWER


SURVIVORS of the 7 July bombs and those who lost loved ones in the attacks have spoken of the special bond that has grown between them.


Many said recovery would have been impossible without the mutual support of others caught up in the terror.


Speaking - some for the first time - after the St Paul's remembrance service, they said the terrorists had failed to divide Londoners.


Veronica Russell, who lost her son Phillip on the No30 bus in Tavistock Square, said: "The pain is never going to go away. We were so proud of Phillip. He was a kind son who loved family and friends and had a wonderful sense of humour.


"The service has given us the opportunity to meet other people who have suffered. There is a special bond.


It's not something that you can easily explain to people who have not lived through what we have."


Richard Deer, 29, whose Polish girlfriend Karolina Gluck died on the Piccadilly line, said: "The message of standing together and living in unity really moved me. I am English with Jamaican parents, Karolina was a Polish Catholic. London is so diverse - that's why we came here."


Tube driver Lee Hunt, 33, from Hayes, was the third person to arrive at the Edgware Road blast. He said: "I managed to get to one lad, Danny Biddele, to give him first aid.


Everyone in the emergency and transport services appreciated the opportunity to meet and talk to people they helped."


Sister Helen Valentine, from St Mary's Hospital, who helped tend the Edgware Road wounded, said: "You are always amazed by people's courage." A defining image of the bombings was Paul Dadge leading Davinia Turrell to safety with a burn mask across her face. Yesterday they were reunited.


Mr Dadge, 29, said: "It's as if the bombers achieved the opposite of what they wanted. We united and are more determined than ever."


Garri Holness, whose left leg was amputated below the knee after the Piccadilly line bomb, said the service had brought him a measure of comfort, and was briefly reunited with Alison Macarthy, the "Angel of King's Cross", whose bravery in ignoring her injuries to administer first aid undoubtedly saved him.


Matthew Childs, 28, who suffered leg injuries at Edgware Road, said: "I came to the service to remember the people who were killed and give thanks for those who survived and those who helped us." Edgware Road station manager Steve Goszka said: "Tube staff worked very well with the emergency services, but many of us were very traumatised."


Leaving the service in a wheelchair, Edgware Road bomb victim Elizabeth Owen, 43, said: "For me this was a positive step on the road to recovery."

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