7/7 Bombings: How Newspaper Front Pages Covered Britain's First Ever Suicide Attacks

07/07/2015 07:43 | Updated 07 July 2016

To mark the 10 year anniversary of the London 7/7 terrorist attacks, HuffPost UK is running Beyond The Bombings, a special series of interviews, blogs, in-depth features and exclusive research reflecting on how Britain has changed since.

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The London 7/7 bombings were an unprecedented attack on the UK capital.

As media and commuters scrambled for information, the details were at first confused. The BBC reported for several hours that the cause of the travel problems in the city that day was a 'power surge'.

But by July 8 the full horror of the situation was apparent, and Britain's newspapers revealed the nation's shock, pain and outrage on their front pages just ours after 52 people died and nearly 800 were injured.

  • The Daily Mail front page ran with a single shocking picture of the bus which was bombed on London's Tavistock Square, leaving devastation on the road around it. The black background and commemoration of the date of the attacks marks the solemnity in the press that day.
  • The Sun used the same iconic picture of the only 7/7 attack that took place above ground. The total dead (discounting the suicide bombers) was in fact 52, rather than the 53 reported.
  • The Daily Mirror opted for a tone of resilience with its headline 'Bloodied but unbowed', coupled with a strapline reading 'We will hold firm'. It picks up on the words of then Prime Minister Tony Blair, who said in the wake of the bombings that Britain would not be intimidated by terror. The images of injured survivors include Davina Turrell, wearing a white face mask to treat her severe burns, in a picture which became well-known after the bombings.
  • The Daily Star's headline 'Bastards' evokes the outrage and anger felt by many after the brutal attacks. The paper is one of few to name Al-Qaeda as the organisation which was then suspected, but not confirmed, to have carried out the atrocity.
  • The Daily Telegraph chose the picture of part-time fireman Paul Dadge, helping facial burns victim Davina Turrell, which became one of the most memorable images from the tragedy.
  • The Metro focussed on a personal account.
  • Like many newspapers, The Guardian chose a single striking image of the bus bombed in Tavistock Square for its front page.
  • The Daily Express
    A message of strength from The Daily Express's paper on 8th July stated 'We Britons will never be defeated', despite the horror of its top line 'trapped and burner in the tunnel of death'.
  • Unlike most newspapers which didn't have an edition until the following day, The Evening Standard was able to cover the bombings on the evening of the day they happened. A shot of the destroyed bus from the back covered the front page of London's newspaper that evening.
  • Another version of The Evening Standard's front page on 7/7 outlined the chaos around the city, with the logo from the City's victory winning its bid to host the 2012 Olympics still visible on the masthead.
  • The next day, The Evening Standard chose to focus on the city's residents and visitors who were missing after the blasts. Many relatives searched for the dead days before learning their fate.
  • The Evening Standard's later edition on 8th July added more faces to the toll of those missing.

How was Britain impacted by the 7/7 bombings? Join the @HuffPostUK conversation on Twitter with #BeyondTheBombings


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