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7/7 terror-attack victims commemorated

7/7 commemoration, tavistock square, 2018
HOLDEN: 'With head and heart and hand.'

A memorial commemorating the victims of the 7/7 terror attack at Tavistock Square has been unveiled, with BMA staff among those paying tribute at a special service.

A stone memorial listing the names of those killed by the number 30 bus explosion on 7 July, 2005, will form a permanent feature in the nearby Tavistock Square gardens.

Family members of those killed in the attack were joined by emergency services staff and other dignitaries at the event, which took place in the gardens.

The 7/7 attacks in central London 13 years ago saw 52 people killed in four coordinated explosions on the city’s tube network and on a bus travelling along Tavistock Square.

BMA council member Peter Holden was among those speaking at the unveiling yesterday. Although a GP, Dr Holden has, for almost 30 years, been a major incident commander for the ambulance service.


Rapid response

He, along with 15 of his medical colleagues, were at BMA House on 7 July, 2005, and were among the first to respond to the aftermath of the number 30 bus explosion on Tavistock Square, with Dr Holden paying tribute to all those who worked to save lives on the day.

He said: ‘Like with my colleagues in the audience here, at Westminster Bridge [attacks], it never crossed our minds to leave the scene.

‘When you enter BMA House, you will see carved on glass the strapline: with head and heart and hand.

‘The thorough clinical training which UK medicine gives to doctors working in the NHS, enabled us to keep our heads – thus preventing chaos, to use our hands to alleviate suffering and with our hearts put everything into the rescue effort.

He added: ‘Time heals wounds, but scars remain indefinitely. They remain among those bereaved, they remain among those directly injured but I also want to recall colleagues and fellow members of the emergency services, who were, and still are, damaged psychologically, by the events of 7/7.’


'Truly humbled'

Other speakers at the event included Graham Russell, a trustee of the 7/7 Tavistock Square memorial trust, whose son Philip was among the 13 people who died in the attack.

He said: ‘We are here today to dedicate a memorial to those who died here in Tavistock Square ... in honour of the victims but also to their families and friends who are left behind.

‘To me, it is significant that the memorial has been installed at the spot my son died. It seems a lot more personal and comforting to know that I can come and sit in beautiful gardens by the very place that he died, shut out the world, and remember. I sincerely hope that all the other families are able to do the same.’

Addressing the event, BMA council chair Chaand Nagpaul told those gathered how he was ‘truly humbled’ to be part of the BMA’s representation for the unveiling.

He said: ‘The BMA – both members and staff – have been proud to support Philip and the 7/7 Memorial Trust over the years, and today is the culmination of the hard work and dedication of many committed volunteers and supporters.

‘My hope is that this memorial will serve as a reminder to all those who see it, of the strength of human endeavour, and our continued duty, which we feel so keenly in the medical profession, to love, care for and support one another.’

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