Victims and survivors of Stoke-on-Trent-born terrorist Usman Khan are being remembered a year on from the killings.
Tributes have been paid to Jack Merritt, aged 25, and Saskia Jones, aged 23, who died, as well as to those who helped after the incident at London’s Fishmongers’ Hall on November 29 last year.
In a pre-recorded address, the Rev Canon David Parrott, guild vicar of the Church of St Lawrence Jewry and chaplain to the City of London Corporation, paid tribute to those affected by the attack.
In the virtual act of remembrance, broadcast online on Sunday, he asked the public to remember the staff and attendees of Fishmongers’ Hall on the day of the incident, and the first responders who came to their aid.
He said: “For those who rush toward danger, bringing hope and comfort.
“For those who serve, protect and guide others to safety.
“For those who risk their own lives for the sake of others.
“For all for whom that day remains a traumatic memory.”
Khan, aged 28, who was living in Stafford at the time, was out on licence when he attended the event near London Bridge, armed with two kitchen knives and wearing a fake suicide vest.
He was tackled by members of the public with a narwhal tusk, a decorative pike and a fire extinguisher before he was shot dead by police on London Bridge.
Colleagues of the victims are also marking the anniversary in an event organised by Cambridge University’s Learning Together programme, of which Mr Merritt was a course co-ordinator and Ms Jones was a volunteer.
Ruth Armstrong and Amy Ludlow, co-directors of Learning Together, said in a joint statement: “Our thoughts are with everyone who was there with us that day, and all who have been impacted.
“We grieve especially for the loss of our inspirational colleague Jack, and our brilliant alumna Saskia.
“Their families and friends are uppermost in our hearts and minds.
“We stand with our whole community, determined to play our part in building towards a better world for us all.”
Cambridge University vice-chancellor Professor Stephen J Toope said Mr Merritt and Ms Jones were in the thoughts of the university community, as well as their families, friends and colleagues and those “who lived through the horror of that attack and the trauma of its aftermath”.
He said: “A year ago our university community was shocked, horrified and profoundly saddened by the senseless attack at an event hosted by the Learning Together programme.”
London mayor Sadiq Khan said the recent rise in the national terrorism threat level and an increase in online extremism are “reminders that challenges lie ahead”, but assured the public that police are “working harder than ever to counter that threat and keep Londoners safe”.
He said: “On the first anniversary of the terror attack at Fishmongers’ Hall and London Bridge, we will be taking the time to stop, reflect and remember the two innocent people who lost their lives – Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones – and the principles they stood for and the hope they inspired.
“They will forever be in our thoughts, as will the families and friends of all those affected.
“I want to pay tribute to the heroic efforts of our emergency services and the heroism of ordinary Londoners who ran towards danger that day to help save the lives of strangers.
“The way that our city responded and stood united in the aftermath of the attack showed the world once again that those who seek to divide us and destroy our way of life in London will never succeed.
“The best way to defeat hatred is not by turning on one another, but by focusing on the values of decency and mutual respect that bind us together and will always prevail.”
Usman Khan timeline
Khan and other members of the Stoke-on-Trent terror cell meet up with other like-minded groups from Cardiff and London
Trial of nine men, including the group from the Potteries, begins at Woolwich Crown Court
Khan, and three others from the Potteries, are jailed for terrorism offences. Khan received an indefinite sentence for his role
March 21 2013
Five of those sentenced, including Khan, appeal against the length of their jail terms
April 16 2013
Usman Khan is one of the group who had their jail terms cut – having his sentence reduced from indefinite to 16 years
Khan is released on licence and is believed to have found accommodation in Stafford
November 29 2019
Police are called to reports of a stabbing on London Bridge. Two people are killed and three injured before the attacker is shot and killed by armed police.
November 30 2019
Shortly after midnight Metropolitan Police confirmed the man who had been shot by police was Usman Khan and that he had previously been jailed for terrorism offences
November 30 2019
The Metropolitan Police confirm they are searching homes in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford as the investigation continues.
November 30 2019
Police set up on both Lanehead Road in Etruria and and Wolverhampton Road in Stafford – the latter being where Khan is believed to have been living.
December 1 2019
Police remain at the scene on Wolverhampton Road in Stafford
December 1 2019
West Midlands Police Counter Terrorism Unit remain on Lindley Street in Cobridge
December 4 2019
An inquest opens into the deaths of victims Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt both died after suffering a stab wound to the chest
December 6, 2019
Khan’s body is flown to Pakistan for burial
December 10, 2019
Vile graffiti supporting Khan is daubed on a boarded-up Midland Heart property at the junction of Rushton Road and Waterloo Road in Cobridge.
December 18, 2019
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) continues its inquiry into whether Staffordshire Police should have done more to stop Khan
December 22, 2019
It emerges a former Scotland Yard officer who mentored n Khan following his release claims he raised a ‘red flag’ eight months before the knife rampage
January 7, 2020
It’s revealed Khan ‘received £350,000 in legal aid’ over his earlier bomb plot.
August 8, 2020
A major report is published into why Khan was allowed to travel to capital before killing spree
October 19, 2020
A pre-inquest review hears Khan killed two young people following a string of failings, from Prevent officer training in Staffordshire to a lack of ‘rudimentary’ bag checks