Mr Howard expressed his sympathy to Mrs Liddell and said the bombings reminded Australians of their deep links with Britain.

“This monstrous attack has not only sadly touched Australians in a physical sense but has reminded us of our deep and abiding links with the people of the United Kingdom,” he told a packed St Paul’s Anglican Church in suburban Griffith.

“There is no city in the world for which Australians have, beyond their own cities, a greater sense of affection and identification than the city of London, and there is no city in the world that has a prouder record of defying tyranny through the ages than the city of London.

“And this terrible tragedy has reaffirmed those bonds, that affection and that deep commitment and that is, I know, the sense that so many millions of Australians feel.”

Mrs Liddell told the service, which was organised by the British High Commission, she was grateful for the help of emergency workers from around the world who went to London to help in the aftermath of last Thursday’s bombings.

“I know a quiet pride in the way in which our emergency services, the fire, police, ambulance and indeed National Health Service workers pulled together with great dignity and resolution and determination and sheer unadulterated courage to help those who were injured,” she said.

“And I’m very grateful to emergency services around the world who have offered their thanks and help.”

Mrs Liddell had been due to officially start work in her new job this week but instead was immediately put to work dealing with the fallout from Thursday’s terrorist blasts which have claimed at least 52 lives.

Nine Australians were hurt in the explosions, six of whom remain in hospital, two in a critical condition and another in intensive care.

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