7/7 anniversary: Islington left heartbroken by shocking attack
PUBLISHED: 08:37 07 July 2015
A look back on the Gazette’s coverage of the atrocities and the victims from the borough killed.
The victims of 7/7 from Islington
The devastating irony of Anat Rosenbergs death was that she had left her native Israel in fear of the suicide bomb attacks that coloured the countrys ongoing conflict with Palestine. Anat was known for being vigilant when it came to security, but she lost her life on the number 30 bus in Tavistock square whilst on the way to her job as a charity administrator at the National Childrens Home (NCH). Anat, 39, from Finsbury Park, was born in Hadera, Israel, and studied at high school in Jerusalem before completing national service with the Israeli army and then training in modern dance. For her, London was a treasure trove of artistic and cultural delight and she lost no time in seeing various operas and theatre productions, her boyfriend John Falding, who was on the phone to her at the time of her death, remembered. Alongside her passion for art and culture, she was an avid collector of jewellery, shoes and handbags. After her death, her collection was sold off to raise money for a Jewish womans charity.
Ciaran Cassidy, universally described as the life of the party, was killed whilst travelling on the Piccadilly Line to his job at a printing shop in Chancery Lane. At 22-years old, Ciaran, who lived in Finsbury Park, had a whole lifetime to look forward to, including a trip around Australia that he had been saving for from his job at the Bridge and Company printing shop. Ciaran was known for his passionate love of football and his support for Arsenal, as many fondly acknowledged in the wake of his death. His popularity and warmth were noted by all who met him, with one person describing him as everyones friend and another remembering that Ciaran, who grew up in an Irish Roman Catholic family with an older sister called Lisa, always had a smile on his face. Ciaran, whose parents Veronica and Sean escaped the Irish Troubles of the 1970s, went to Christ the King Catholic Primary School in Tollington Park before completing the rest of his studies at schools in Wood Green and Highgate.
Helen Jones was just 12 years old when a plane exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, where she went to school, in 1988, killing 270 people. Helen escaped then, but tragically met her death 16 years later when she was killed alongside 26 other people on the Piccadilly line train heading towards Kings Cross. Just three weeks earlier, Helen, 28, had bought a new flat in Holloway with her boyfriend Clive Brooks, who she sent a text message just before she died. Described by all who knew her as deeply intelligent and driven, Helen was the youngest person to attend Aberdeen University at the age of 16, where she achieved a first class degree in divinity. Having grown up in a religious family, Helen was known for her compassion and used her gap year to help sex workers and drug addicts in Glasgow, before moving to London to work as an accountant. Whilst there, she was affectionately known as Sherlock Jones for her skill in finding the most minute errors.
James Mayes was an analyst who was passionate about his work for the Healthcare commission in bettering the NHS. Mr Mayes, 28, was going to a seminar at Kings Cross on the day of the bombings, and took a different route from his usual one. Tragically, he was killed in the Piccadily line bombing. He previously studied Politics at Warwick University after attending City of London school. He grew up in Barnet.
When Karolina left her home country of Poland to come to the UK, she embedded herself into London life with remarkable ease - even wearing a St Georges cross navel piercing in tribute to her adopted second home. But the next chapter in Karolinas story was to come to an unexpected end when she boarded the Piccadilly line train from Finsbury Park, headed towards Russell Square. Before leaving for her job as a college receptionist, Karolina, 29, kissed her boyfriend Richard Deer goodbye. That evening, the couple were due to leave for a romantic long weekend in Paris. For many, Karolina was an unforgettable character, earning the nickname Sunshine because of her warm and lively nature. he lived with her twin sister Magda in Finsbury Park, and the two girls had also planned to take a trip back to Poland to introduce their boyfriends to their parents for the first time. Mr Deer wrote in a book of tributes : What we had was indescribable, so, so special. I love you Karolina and know that you are still close."
When 29-year-old Laura Webb backpacked around South America in 2001, she received news of the 9/11 attacks and emailed her parents Hazel and George that she hoped London would stay safe. Sadly, when the 7/7 bombings hit London five years later, Laura was killed on the Circle line train at Edgware Road whilst travelling to her job as a PA for an advertising agency. She was last seen by her boyfriend Chris Driver, with whom she shared a house in Islington and had met years earlier when they worked for a TV production company. They had planned to get married and have children in the future. Laura was described as always happy and laughing and came from a loving family with two older brothers, Robert and David.
Monika Suchocka, 23 didnt start school in her home country of Poland until she was six-years-old, due to illness. Once there, she pursued her goals and education tirelessly, which set her in good stead for studying a Masters in Poland, before coming to the UK as a trainee accountant for a firm in West Kensington. Monika Suchocha arrived in the UK and settled in Archway, Islington, just two months before the bombings on the Piccadily line train that killed her, along with 26 others on July 7, 2005. Monika had previously studied in Germany and taught English in the United States before coming to London, where she settled in quickly. She had a great passion for music and joined the local choir and played the piano.
In the tributes to Shahara Islam, 23, she is remembered for her modern fashion sense, but more importantly, her unshaking dedication to her family and her faith. Little was she to know that someone was to end her life in the name of Islam, a religion she was so devoted to. Friends and families said she never missed Friday prayers at the mosque. The 20-year-old cashier, who worked at a Co-operative Bank in Islington and lived in Plaistow, left the underground after the first blast and boarded the number 30 bus towards Tavistock Square. Her body was later formally identified at the scene of the explosion. Raised in a Bangladeshi family, Shahara left Barking Abbey school after her A-levels and started work at the Co-operative Bank. Tributes from friends and family noted how proud she made everyone and her respect for her familys wishes, which included wearing shalwar kameez at home, while also wearing the latest fashions in Burberry and others when she spent time with friends.
On the morning of the terrorist bombings in London on July 7, 2005, the capital had woken up euphoric after celebrating the success of its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games a day earlier.
But within seconds, jubilation turned to devastation as four Islamic extremists detonated four bombs across the city’s transport network.
Of the 52 people murdered that day, eight of them worked or lived in Islington, leaving many friends, family and co-workers within the borough heartbroken.
The Islington Gazette had gone to press just a day earlier, but its reporters wasted no time in telling the story of the atrocity and its victims.
A week later, we led with the killing of Shahara Islam, a devout Muslim girl who was commended for her dedication to her faith and family, and her promising future. Just 20-years-old, Shahara worked at the Co-operative Bank in Islington High Street as a cashier, and was described as having “so much to live for.”
Shahara was believed to have died on the Circle line train that blew up under Aldgate East station when travelling to work that morning.
The Gazette devoted a further four pages of coverage to the men and women who lost their lives, and to those who saved others during one of the worst tragedies London has ever seen.
Among the missing was Laura Webb, who lived with her boyfriend in Islington, and was feared to have been killed on her way to work as a PA for an advertising agency. Police told her family just a week later that Laura had indeed lost her life on the Circle Line train at Edgware Road station. Laura’s family had been searching hospitals for her since 10.30am on that fateful day.
Further on, reporter Christina Boyle captured the horror of John Falding’s final phonecall to his girlfriend Anat Rosenberg, who worked in Islington and was killed on the number 30 bus at Tavistock Square.
Mr Falding, a retired journalist, told the Gazette: “I heard the sound of screaming...then Anat’s phone cut out.”
Anat, a charity worker at the National Children’s Home in Highbury Park, was killed on the number 30 bus at Tavistock Square.
Tragically, the youngest victim of the bombings also came from Islington.
Ciaran Cassidy, 22, was travelling to his job at a printer’s shop when he was killed on the Piccadilly line train heading towards Russell Square out of the borough from King’s Cross.
Ciaran, who lived with his parents and sister in Finsbury Park, had been saving up for an imminent trip to Australia, and had been popular in his local community.
Elswhere, the Gazette heard the devastating story of Karolina Gluck, a Polish national who had made her life in London with boyfriend, Richard Deer. They were excited about a trip to Paris that evening.
Karolina, 29, who lived with her twin sister in Finsbury Park, was killed whilst travelling to work as a receptionist on the Piccadilly line train heading towards Russell Square.
Alongside the heartbreaking individual stories, the paper covered the heroic efforts of the emergency services and ordinary citizens to help the injured.
Red Cross medics Mike Morrison, 41, and Katrina Hitchins, 29, told the Gazette of the gruelling hours spent underground treating survivors and the shocking scenes of devastation they witnessed whilst battling to save people at King’s Cross station.
Mr Morrison had previously helped the injured in the King’s Cross fire of 1987, but nothing prepared him for the range and extent of injuries he dealt with.
He said: “You try to block things out and just get on with the job but at the end of the day we’re all human.”
Community leaders, MPs and local religious figures praised the resilience and defiance of ordinary people who helped others and denounced the killings.
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