Session 2: Personal consequences (1): who was affected by 7/7?

History (Ages 11-14)
Session 2: Personal consequences (1): who was affected by 7/7?
Key Message: 

There was a wide range of people involved in the bombings beyond the 52 victims – the injured, eye-witnesses, doctors, police etc – and each was profoundly affected by the experience.

  • Students will explore the diverse range of people involved in 7/7
  • Students will extract relevant information from a wide range of source material
  • Students will consider the usefulness of eye-witness accounts
  • Students will complete a summary sheet about those involved in 7/7 and use this to expand their list of consequences
  • Students will participate in small group and whole group discussions about what they have learned


If students asked friends and family about 7/7On 7th July, 2005 four suicide bombers coordinated attacks on the London transport system. 52 people were killed and estimated 700 injured. for homework, this is the time to share that – in small groups and/or whole class.  They might be able to record further consequences in their book at this stage.  Even if this task was not completed, certainly remind them of the overall enquiry question and recap on previous lesson.  Emphasise that 52 (+4 bombers) died that day and over 700 were injured (probably a conservative estimate) and an unknown number of people connected to those killed and injured have experienced unrecorded effects.  MV History Resource 2.1 Presentation Slide 2 shows one of the iconic images of the day – a woman with her face badly burned and covered – and how she looked after her recovery.

Phase 1

The specific focus for this lesson is to consider who was affected by 7/7 on the actual day other than the 52 victims themselves.  Play MV History Resource 2.2 Dr Buckman testimonial video (15 minutes). Dr Laurence Buckman was at a meeting at BMA House (British Medical Association) on Tavistock Square when the bomb exploded on the number 30 bus. He helped the injured all that day. While watching the video, students begin to fill in MV History Resource 2.3 Summary sheet Who was involved in 7/7, focusing on:

  • Who was involved 7/7 and how
  • How 7/7 is described

Plenary 1

Discussion of the film.  It is worth discussing two aspects not included on the sheet:

  • The coincidences that day (bus diverted so the bomb went off outside the BMA on a day when it was unusually full of doctors at meetings; medical director of Lincs air ambulance and an expert in disaster management was there;  policeman turning up with an armful of drip bags just as they were running out – he saved lives).
  • What Dr Buckman has to say about whether this is "all about Muslims".  (No – several of those who died were Muslims – this isn’t about Muslims, it is about murderers).   NB –more knowledge you can add at this point - note that three out of the four bombers had criminal records which is fairly typical.  Bombers/would-be bombers often tend to be "misfits" – loners, unhappy in their personal lives.

Phase 2

Discuss how useful Dr Buckman’s account is in understanding what happened on 7/7.  Useful because he was at the scene of the Tavistock bombing within minutes, he saw the direct consequences of the bomb first-hand, he experienced the chaos etc, he has no reasons not to report it as fully as he can.  Limited because the Tavistock bombing was one of four, he was very absorbed in treating patients, he was experiencing it as a doctor rather than someone who was injured/an eye witness etc so this is one perspective.

What other accounts might be useful for comparison and to find out more?

Students use information packs to find out more about who was affected and how 7/7 has been described and record on their summary sheet.  Note that at this stage we have included a lot of information that can go in the packs which you will need to select and cut as appropriate to the class.

Plenary 2 (conclusion)

Whole class discussion about who was involved – possibly one pair/small group identifies type of person affected (eg chefs in a hotel) and another pair/small group has to explain how they were involved (provided improvised equipment eg tabletops as stretchers, talked to the injured to keep them going, looked after the "walking wounded").

How has 7/7 been described?  Which phrases were most commonly used?  Which were most poignant?

Students to record personal consequences of 7/7 in their books as per previous lesson.


Students to research Gill Hicks or Martine Wright online.  Find out what happened to them on 7/7 and what they have done since.

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