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Bombing survivor heads for memorial service

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by Sarah Marshall

July 7 bombing survivor Beverli Rhodes, from Kennington, Ashford
July 7 bombing survivor Beverli Rhodes, from Kennington, Ashford

A survivor of the London bombings,
which happened four years ago today, is heading from Ashford to
Hyde Park this morning to lay a wreath at a memorial which is
due to be unveiled today.

But Beverli Rhodes, 47, who was
injured in the terror attack of July 7, 2005, has not been invited
to the official ceremony and says she feels "snubbed".

Ms Rhodes, like other survivors she
is in touch with, has not been invited to Hyde Park as priority has
been given to the relatives of those who died.

Ms Rhodes, who lives in
Nettlefield, Kennington, plans to lay a wreath on behalf of herself
and other survivors when the memorial opens to the public at
3pm following the private ceremony for the bereaved.

The memorial consists of 52
pillars, one for each of the victims. The pillars are grouped
together in four inter-linking clusters reflecting the four
incidents. Ms Rhodes, supports the design and is glad a memorial
has been built, but feels the survivors should have been

She said: "I feel significantly let
down, as do a number of other survivors who have had no
communications from the powers that be.

"We had been used to getting a
letter in May or June time explaining what the ceremony would be on
July 7, where the entrance would be, how we had to get in and
whether we needed tickets.

"We’ve had absolutely nothing this

Last week Ms Rhodes emailed the
Department for Culture, Media and Sport asking why there is no
event for those who were injured in the attacks. She has not
received a reply.

A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said:
"We have gone to a lot of trouble to contact survivors to tell them
about the plans for the memorial opening. Everyone who asked to
attend will be there."

Ms Rhodes suffered facial injuries
in the bomb attack on a tube train under Russell Square. She
continues to require treatment for her injuries and has set up a
campaign group for victims of terrorism, the Survivor Coalition

She has recently been encouraged by
last month’s landmark civil court case which saw the families of
victims of the 1998 Omagh bombings awarded £14 million after
successfully suing members of the Real IRA. Ms Rhodes is part of a
group of people affected by the London bombings which is seeking
compensation by suing the perpetrators of the London bombings.

They have instructed the same
solicitors which led the case for the Omagh families.

Ms Rhodes said: "It is my belief
that we have a very strong case."

The bombings on July 7, 2005 were a
series of coordinated suicide bomb attacks carried out by British
fundamentalist Muslims on London’s public transport system during
the morning rush hour.

Just before 9am, three bombs
exploded within 50 seconds of each other on three London
Underground trains.

A fourth bomb exploded on a bus
nearly an hour later in Tavistock Square. The bombings killed 52
people, the four suicide bombers and injured 700.

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