Stock History
By Charles Phillips
This is not to denigrate the memory of those innocents killed in the tragic bombings of Thursday 7th July 2005 nor the heroism of those who saved or tried to save the victims nor of the experiences of those other who in some other way were caught up in the tragic events of that day. It is to look at it from the perspective of not being in London on that tragic day.
I had taken early retirement from the Civil Service in London just over three months before and was adjusting to not having to go up to London every day and be subjected to the discipline of work and the rigours of daily travelling on trains, buses and the underground. Like a lot of people I bought a newspaper that morning and read in it that the day before London had been awarded the 2012 Olympics. Not being a great television watcher I didn't bother to put the television on that morning. I can tell you that day was a bright sunny day. Sometime during the morning someone telephoned me that there'd been the bomb explosions in London on the underground and a bus. I put the television on a couple of times to see what was happening.
. At one point in the afternoon I went for a bike ride. I've got a sense of history. Anyone who's read diaries or spoken to people who were in this country at the time of the First World War will tell you that you could hear the sound of the guns in France in this country so that you were aware of terrific battle taking place over on the continent but not involved in it. On 7th July 2005 I felt being aware of something had happened terrible in London but not being involved in it. I suppose if any day from the First World War springs to mind it would be Saturday 1st July which was the first day of the Battle of the Somme. I remember putting the television on after I'd got back from my bike ride and seeing walking across London to the main line railway stations to get and I saw a man who I'd known from working with when I was on loan from one Government department to another in 2002.
Yes, I was glad that I wasn't working in London. I felt very sorry for those who were. And those were killed and injured.
This morning I had a walked in the woods near me as I often do and I reflected that 10 years ago today the woods were calm and peaceful no doubt like they were on 1st July 1916 and 7th July 2005.
Excuse me for including the section of Laurence Binyon's poem For the Fallen that is read out at the start of every Royal British Legion meeting, but I think it is appropriate.
They shall not grow old,
as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Charles Phillips,

Tuesday 7th July 2015.

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