London bombings: Heroes honoured

Mark Hughes
Wednesday 31 December 2008 01:00 GMT

Six survivors of the London bombings on 7 July 2005 were honoured after the Government changed last year's decision not to give titles to the heroes of the terrorist attacks.

The Cabinet Office had previously dismissed calls for Tim Coulson, a teacher who tended to the injured and the dying in the aftermath of the bombings, to be honoured.

A letter to his wife, who had nominated him for an award, said that honours could only be given to people "for meritorious service over a sustained period and not for specifically saving someone's life".

But yesterday Mr Coulson, Elizabeth Kenworthy, pictured right, David Matthews, Gerald McIlmurray, Antonio Silvestro and Stephen Hucklesby were made MBEs for "services during the July 2005 London bombings".

Mr Coulson, 53, from Henley-on-Thames, was caught in the aftermath of the blast at Edgware Road. He smashed his way into the wrecked Tube carriage to tend to victims of the blast.

While Mrs Kenworthy, of Waltham Abbey, was on a Circle Line train near Aldgate, she heard an explosion two carriages away. Rather than rushing to escape, the police constable headed in the direction of the bomb blast and administered first aid to three survivors.

Mr Hucklesby, of Leamington Spa, was in the same carriage as Mr Coulson at Edgware Road. He said: "It was an enormous surprise to be given this award. A lot of people helped there on that day and I was only one of them so I am very fortunate to receive an award, very honoured and very humbled."

A police officer who helped arrest a shoe bomber terrorist was also on the honours list. Chief Constable Craig Mackey was awarded the Queen's Police Medal for Distinguished Service for his work in leading the operation that resulted in the arrest of Saajid Badat, who admitted plotting to blow up a passenger jet in mid-air.

Mr Mackey, who was then serving with Gloucestershire Constabulary but has since moved to the Cumbria force, said: "I am very honoured and privileged to have received this recognition."

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in