King's cross fire: recognised officers

At the time the alarm was raised there were four BTP officers on patrol in the King’s Cross station area.

These were PC Terry Bebbington, PC Kenneth Kerbey, PC Patrick Balfe and PC Stephen Hanson. They were then joined by PC Richard Kukielka, PC Graham Martland and PC Julian Dixon.

Their actions undoubtedly saved many lives in the terrible disaster.

The seven officers were later honoured by Her Majesty the Queen. A full list of the honours is published below.

In 1988 the Fennell Report, a public inquiry into the fire, was published. In it, Desmond Fennell (OBE QC) wrote: “(London Fire Brigade) Station Officer Colin Townsley died a hero’s death, giving his life in an attempt to save another. PC Hanson’s presence of mind and courage must have enabled many people to escape with their lives. The court salutes not only those two but all the members of the public, the emergency services and London Underground staff who helped others in any way.”

BTP officers

Below we recognise the seven BTP officers who, working with Underground staff and London Fire Brigade, saved many more lives.

BALFE, Patrick Michael

Awarded Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct

For services in assisting a fireman in dangerous and intolerable conditions and in evacuating passengers from the smoke-laden booking hall and platforms.


BEBBINGTON, Terry Alan

Awarded Queen’s Gallantry Medal

Constable Bebbington, though untrained and unequipped for fighting fires, displayed devotion to duty and gallantry of a high order in assisting a fireman in his attempts, in dangerous and intolerable conditions, to bring the seat of the fire under control.


DIXON, Julian Mark

Awarded Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct

For evacuating passengers from the booking hall, for re-entering a smoke-filled subway without regard to personal safety and for assisting a severely burned and injured Constable to safety.


HANSON, Stephen Terrence

Awarded Queen’s Gallantry Medal

Constable Hanson displayed devotion to duty and gallantry of a high order by remaining in conditions of extreme danger to direct the evacuation of passengers, and then attempting to lead them to safety, sustaining severe burns and injury in the process.


KERBEY, Kenneth John Leonard

Awarded Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct

For evacuating passengers from the smoke-filled booking hall and platforms, and in helping fight the fire on the Piccadilly Line escalators in dangerous and intolerable conditions.

KUKIELKA, Richard

Awarded Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct

For evacuating passengers from the smoke-filled booking hall and platforms, for helping a colleague to evacuate a badly burned passenger and for re-entering the station to give further assistance.

MARTLAND, Graham Phillip

Awarded Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct

For evacuating passengers from the smoke-laden booking hall and platforms, for helping a badly burned passenger to safety, and re-entering the station to give further assistance.

Alexander Fallon, victim of the King's Cross fire of 1987
How the final King’s Cross fire victim was identified

16 years of detective work and one surgical clip helped BTP detectives discover the identity of the body of Alexander Fallon: the last King's Cross fire victim to be identified.

Read the full story

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