Today marks the sixth anniversary of terrorist attacks in London; since the 1970s, Britain has seen terrorism — primarily from the Irish Republican Army — and London has braced itself for a potential terrorist attack since 9/11.
Nonetheless, when they arrived, the attacks were shocking not least because its perpetrators were homegrown terrorists but also because they arrived less than 24 hours after London won the bid for the 2012 Olympics. On 7th July 2005, four suicide bombers killed 52 people and injured over 700 people in four explosions, three inside London’s Underground and one on a bus.
At Edgeware Road Station, 24-year old Davinia Turrell became an unlikely icon. In the images that many photographers snapped of her as she was being led away from the emergency hospital inside the nearby Marks and Spencer, Davinia was faceless — or rather, it was covered with a white surgical gauzemask — but her face nonetheless lent an unforgettable visage to that tragic day. She was led away by an ex-firefighter Paul Dadge, who remembers:
We were the first out of M&S, and I remember vividly it was absolutely silent outside. As we ran across I could see people stood behind the cordon line.
The photographers hadn’t been able to see people coming out of the Tube station from their position – it was as if this was the ideal opportunity for these photographs.
The one thing I could hear was the sound of the shutters going. Then we started to realise something serious was going on. I remember saying to Davinia, ‘I think your picture’s going to be in the paper tomorrow’.”
Dadge was correct. Likened to Edvard Munch’s painting, The Scream, various versions of the picture were reprinted on the cover of more than 400 newspapers and magazines, including Time, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Le Figaro and Corriere Della Sera. Dadge would also be interviewed for over 400 interviews.