Bombings hero honoured by Queen
THE Queen paid tribute to an Essex hero of the July 7 bombings yesterday, praising him and others for their “courageous acts” and “outstanding bravery.
THE Queen paid tribute to an Essex hero of the July 7 bombings yesterday, praising him and others for their “courageous acts” and “outstanding bravery.”
Tube workers, paramedics and British Transport Police who went to the aid of terrified passengers and nurses and doctors who tended to the injured were honoured with awards at Buckingham Palace.
Twenty people received accolades at the investiture for their life-saving actions following the terrifying blasts which brought carnage to central London.
Inspector Glen McMunn, of British Transport Police, who collected an MBE, said he was honoured to be given the medal but revealed it was the thanks he received from the woman whose life he helped save that meant so much to him.
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Gill Hicks had lost both of her legs below the knee in the Russell Square attack. Her lower limbs were almost blown off when an explosive laden rucksack was detonated close to where she was standing.
Inspector McMunn, who was later reunited with Ms Hicks, was the duty officer for BTP on the day, with responsibility for responding to any breaking incidents.
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He led the first team of paramedics and police officers at Russell Square down the Piccadilly Line tunnel and into the train wreckage and managed to reach Ms Hicks in the carriage.
He was in charge of deciding to enter the tunnel, asking those with him if they were sure they wanted to go in as well.
The 44-year-old, from Great Totham, near Maldon, said after receiving his accolade: “The Queen said we had done a very good job but the most poignant thing for me was meeting Gill Hicks again in person.
“She thanked me for making the decision to walk down that tunnel. That was the moment I knew I had actually made a contribution in saving someone's life. That's worth as much to me as anything today.”
In December, 37-year-old Gill walked on prosthetic legs to wed to Joe Kerr.
Inspector McMunn praised the other BTP officers who worked with him, saying: “It's not just me. I'm the tip of the iceberg.'
Recalling the events of July 7, he added: “I led my team into the tunnel, walking for about half a mile. It was very traumatic. It took my breath away. As soon as I got there I could see it was total carnage. “There was glass all over the place and bodies and body parts everywhere and the roof had been blown out. It was very dark and very eerie. It was just really horrendous.'
Fifty-two innocent people were killed and up to 700 injured when four suicide bombers targeted the transport network during the morning rush hour of July 7.
The atrocity involved the blowing up of three Tube trains, at Aldgate, Edgware Road and between King's Cross and Russell Square, and a Number 30 bus in Tavistock Place.
The ceremony at the Palace yesterday was tinged with sadness as heroes remembered the horrific events of last summer and those who died.