THE Queen and Prime Minister Tony Blair were among those gathered at a national memorial service for the 52 victims of the July 7 bomb attacks in London.

In a moving and poignant ceremony four candles, each containing a name of one of the bomb sites, were lit.

The victims were unique, precious and irreplaceable, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams told the congregation at St Paul's Cathedral yesterday.

Dr Williams said that terrorists were the enemy not just of a system or a government but also "of the whole idea that we are each of us unique and responsible and non-replaceable".

Relatives of the four suicide bombers were not invited and neither were the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was shot in error by police a day after a failed second wave of attacks on London's transport network.

More than 1,000 Londoners and tourists, many showing signs of emotion, met in Trafalgar Square to watch the service on a giant television screen.

They saw the Very Rev Dr John Moses begin the service with a poignant address, dedicated to the victims, those who were injured and those who had "shared in the work of rescue and rehabilitation".

Dr Moses said: "All those who died and those who were injured in the attacks on London on July 7, we give thanks for their lives and hold them in our prayers.

"And with them, we remember the victims of terrorism all over the world.

"We pray for all who mourn, for all who are rebuilding their lives and we give thanks to those who shared, often at great cost to themselves, in the work of rescue and rehabilitation.

"We remember in particular the staff of Transport for London, the police, the paramedics, the doctors and nurses of London hospitals, clergy and faith leaders, all men and women of goodwill who assisted in any way.

"We come also to affirm the unity of this nation, the integrity of this great city and the resolve of countless men and women of different faiths and cultures to live together in peace."

An emotional London mayor Ken Livingstone gave the first reading at the service.