How I coped after Manchester terror attack

British Transport Police officer Jon Morrey was treating victims of the Manchester Arena bombing just 40 seconds after the explosion.

The former Royal Navy chef reveals why he is hoping for “closure” when he is honoured at Manchester Town Hall.

I was on arena duties with an officer I was training. Just after 10.30pm we heard a huge bang. I knew it was an explosion.

Time stopped that night. People were running out of the arena. The automatic alarm was going off.

There were that many people coming out I was struggling to get up the stairs. I was like a salmon swimming against the tide.

I arrived in less than a minute. It was about 40 seconds after the explosion went off that I was helping the first lady.

People were telling me that people needed help in the car park. I went over and there were injured people with shrapnel injuries and leg injuries.

BTP officer Jon Morrey

Image: Jon said his ex-military colleagues helped him cope after the attack

Bystanders were coming up to me and asked if there was anything they could do to help.

They got me the first aid kits I needed. I was even given two nappies which were priceless.

I helped nine people with lots of different injuries. There were lower leg wounds. One man had a knee injury. His wife had an injury to her Achilles heel. There was a little girl about eight years old who needed treatment.

The night went on and on.

:: The victims of the Manchester terror attack

Most of the people I treated were very calm. I’d like to think I gave them the assurance they needed in a really dire time.

On the night it was just what needed to be done. People needed help.

With me being ex-military and joining the police, it was just something that I knew I needed to. I did the best I could.

The Queen displayed rare public emotion when she met victims of the Manchester attack in May

Image: The Queen met victims of the Manchester attack in May

Since then I’ve learnt to cope in my own way. My girlfriend Kat has been a huge help. We go out for walks which has helped clear my head.

A lot of my friends who are still in the military have also been there to talk to if needed.

Friday’s ceremony is closure for me. It’s nice to be appreciated for what BTP did on the night.

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We still get people coming up to us thanking us for what we did. They really do appreciate what we do when we put the uniform on.

Far from putting me off the job, it’s made me more proud of what I do for the force. I’m always proud when I put my uniform on and always will be.