This year there may ONLY be ONE Memorial Service on 21st November 2020, due to Covid-19 restrictions, which will be on a much smaller and shorter time scale.
St Philips Cathedral (Colmore Row) have agreed to provide a short service outside next to the Memorial at approximately 6pm, where a prayer and the names of our loved ones will be read, which they have agreed to do.
By doing this outside, this will give people the opportunity to pay their respects and ensure social distancing is in place. Our sincere and heartfelt thanks to the staff at Birmingham Cathedral for agreeing to this arrangement for this year’s Memorial.
The Tree Memorial service at Grand Central (aka New Street Station) will not be taking place, even so, some of our families will be present from 20:15 to pay our respects. This is due to Birmingham City Council stating that there are to be no organized group meetings due to social distancing rules.
Please accept our apologies for the changes this year, however, as we are sure you can appreciate this is out of our control and can only hope and pray that next year will be back to some form of normality.
In the meantime, we would like to thank all of our supporters for your continued unstinting support through the years. Without you all, we would never be where we are today. You all help to give us the strength to continue our fight for Truth, Justice & Accountability. You have provided us with a depth of human kindness we never could have dreamt of or thought possible. You have defined who we are and what we are – the voice of our loved ones.
“Let Right Be Done – Justice4the21!”
Take care, stay safe and stay well. God Bless you all.
Julie Hambleton gave an interview on BBCs Hardtalk (international) program that was aired for the first time 24 May 2019. Here is the link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0005ckj/hardtalk-julie- hambleton-justice-for-the-21-1974-birmingham-pub-bombings
The latest update: 5 April 2019 – 44 years after the heinous act, It is official – Our loved ones were ‘unlawfully killed – murdered’
Please help us to raise funds in our plight for Truth, Justice & Accountability:
Please take a moment to watch this short video:
Why were these NEVER shown to the jury in the Inquest?
URGENT APPEAL: 21 Feb 2019
The Legal Aid Agency have made it known that they are discriminating against us, using the excuse that because our legal team, KRW LAW LLP is based in Belfast that we are not entitled to the same level of legal aid as those in England or Wales, even thought the Government amended the law in 2017, so that KRW LAW were able to apply for a special Legal Aid certificate to act on our behalf. As such, we have a huge shortfall in our legal funds and are in desperate need of £60,000 within the next 3 weeks. Our Inquest begins on Monday 25 February 2019.
Our inquest is Article 2 compliant (Right to Life) this means that the government should provide the families with su#cient funds so that we are able to ‘effectively participate’, which we now discover will not be possible. The LAA have only given us fund for 1 QC and 1 Junior. When you compare that to the Coroner’s legal team 2 QCs, 3 Juniors & an army of solicitors (all in the court room) and the same level of legal representation will be afforded to MI5, MI6, Ministry of Defence, West Midlands Police, Devon & Cornwall Police and the Emergency Services – all of which WE, the taxpayers, will be paying for, you can see the utter inequality of funds and justice.
If you would like to help us in our plight for truth, justice & accountability we would be very grateful indeed. As such, please click on this link where you can make a donation of what ever you can afford. Thank YOU very much!
For & on behalf of:
Desmond William Reilly 20 – Eugene Thomas Reilly 23
Trevor George Thrupp 33 – John Rowlands 46
Stanley James Bodman 47 – John ‘Cli#’ Jones 51
Jane Elizabeth Davis 17 Charles Harper Grey 44 Anne Hayes 19 Neil Robert Marsh 16 Paul Anthony Davies 17
James Frederick Caddick 40 Thomas Frederick Chaytor 28 Jimmy Craig 34 Lynn Jane Bennett 18
Marilyn Paula Nash 22 Maureen Anne Roberts 20
Michael William Beasley 30 Pamela Joan Palmer 19
Stephen John Whalley 21 Maxine Hambleton 18
PRESS RELEASE JUSTICE FOR THE 21 (J4THE21) BIRMINGHAM PUB BOMBINGS 1974 – FAMILIES OF THE VICTIMS MEET POLITICANS AT STORMONT 4 th July 2018 (15:30hrs) Earlier today representatives from J4the21, the campaign group representing the families of the victims of The Birmingham Pub Bombings 1974, met the leader of the DUP, Arlene Foster MLA, and will meet shortly with the leader of Sinn Féin, Michelle O’Neill MLA. The content of the discussions of these meetings is confidential. J4the21 considered it necessary to travel from Birmingham to Belfast to meet with the leaders of the two main political parties in order to convey how we have been excluded from the process for Dealing with the Past and the Legacy of the Con$ict in Northern Ireland. J4the21 are at Stormont because our loved ones cannot be, we are their voice in what we now understand is a protracted, contentious process that Dealing with the Legacy of the Past in Northern Ireland has become. Myth, rumour and unhelpful speculation will abound and attach itself to our loved one’s murders unless we deal with these rumours and suspicions in our generational life time. We cannot allow rumours and myth to poison future generations and cause perpetual trauma to our families. Now is the time to deal with these di#cult issues and we will not allow these issues to be passed on to another generation. Our demand is simple: that we have access to a human rights compliant mechanism to establish how and in what circumstances our loved ones died, without having to continually be campaigning for access to truth, justice and accountability which adds to our continuing trauma and causes further deep hurt and insult. The day that the State allows impunity for murder by preventing its citizens from accessing such a truth seeking process on behalf of their loved ones is a dangerous day for a democratic society. We therefore have engaged today in discussions in a spirit that we may get some measure of assistance in our quest for a human rights compliant investigatory mechanism into how and why our loved ones died. ENDS
We are due in the Court of Appeal in London on 17 July 2018 – 10:00am.
This is where the Coroner is appealing against the two High Court Judges who found in our favour when we judicially reviewed the Coroner’s decision to exclude the perpetrators from the inquest. We decided to JR the Coroner on his decision, because we could not, in all good conscience allow him to exclude the bomb makers, bomb planters & their associates from not being part of the inquest.
16 June 2018
On Saturday 16 June 2018 one of our super hero’s WALKED from Preston to Birmingham (106 Miles) to help raise our profile and much needed funds for our campaign, after we have been refused legal aid SIX times.
Ian has a justgiving page still open if you would like to show your support for his monumental fete that he has accomplished on behalf of the twenty-one that are not here to fight for justice themselves.
We would like to publically Thank Ian for what he has done for all our families. He is a normal law abiding, tax paying ex Sapper, that has come to the aid of our loved ones. God Bless him & everyone out there!
4 August 2017
Please Help Us to Challenge the Coroner’s decision to Exclude the murderers from the Inquest. THEY MUST be part of the scope to enable us to have a full and transparent Inquest!
Please donate whatever you can afford via this link
On behalf of ALL the Justice4the21 families THANK YOU!
Latest News: New 21-Today album available
(A compilation two CD set of 21 songs specially donated by Birmingham and Midlands musicians).
Why the Home Secretary MUST resolve the pub bombs inquest funding debacle
Ball is firmly back in Amber Rudd’s court – lawyer
The battle by Birmingham pub bombing families for inquest funding to pay for lawyers looks set to remain unresolved as we move into 2017. Here KRW LAW LLP Litigation Consultant Christopher Stanley explains why – and says the ball is firmly back in the court of Home Secretary Amber Rudd who must resolve this “untenable situation.”
Two years ago in December 2014, Julie Hambleton and her mother Margaret, travelled to Belfast.
Through a local victims support group based in Fermanagh, Julie and Margaret has been introduced to KRW LAW LLP.
This law firm is unique in Northern Ireland in that it has a dedicated Legacy Litigation department consisting of 10 dedicated staff working on behalf of relatives and victims of the con$ict in Northern Ireland.
Julie and her mum were in Belfast seeking advice as to how to make progress in understanding why Julie’s sister and Margaret’s daughter, Maxine, was killed together with 20 others in the Birmingham pub bombings, 40 years before.
Until going to Belfast Julie and her family – and the other families of the victims – had been ignored and forgotten. No one had offered them any support, either at the time or subsequently when the Birmingham Six were freed on appeal in 1991.
Despite the work of the Justice for the 21 campaign, the West Midlands Police either ignored them or patronised them.
Pictures of some of those who were killed 42 years ago.
Since instructing KRW LAW LLP Julie and her family and eight other families who lost loved ones on November 21, 1974, huge progress has been made.
An application to resume the original inquests was made to the Attorney General resulting in the Senior Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull holding a series of hearings this year culminating in her decision that she had both the power to resume the original inquests, that she had su#cient reason to do so and that the inquests should be compliant with human rights standards.
Last month the former Chief Coroner of England and Wales, Peter Thornton QC, held the first in a series of hearings which will lead to the resumption of the inquests in 2017.
This will be the first and last time that an independent investigation into all the surrounding circumstances of the Birmingham Pub Bombings will be possible and will enable the relatives of the victims to participate and assist the Coroner in his investigation.
We know that West Midlands Police (WMP), Devon and Cornwall Police, the Police Federation, the Home O#ce, the Foreign O#ce and the Ministry of Defence are Interested Persons to the inquests and are represented by barristers paid for by taxpayers money – in the case of the WMP the council tax of the those relatives of the victims seeking truth, justice and accountability. The Police Federation legal team will be paid for by retired police o#cers subscriptions.
KRW LAW LLP continue to represent their clients free of charge. At the last hearing they were unable to instruct counsel because of the on-going costs being borne by them.
This was noted by the Coroner and he made it clear he supported the families’ application for public funding for their legal representation into order for them to effectively participate in this long, complex and sensitive legal process.
The families are clear in their instructions that they want KRW LAW LLP to continue to represent them – the family of Pamela Palmer instructed KRW LAW LLP after the last hearing with full knowledge of the impasse regarding funding.
As 2016 comes to a close – with much achieved by Justice for the 21 and their legal team – funding is still not in place.
KRW LAW LLP have been confronted with the obstacle that since they do not practice in England and Wales they cannot be a given a contract for legal aid in order to apply for legal aid funding for their clients.
Talks between KRW LAW LLP and two English law firms with legal aid contracts have not resulted in a business agreement by which KRW could operate an agent in England.
Both firms have concluded that such an arrangement is not workable given the amount of work already undertaken by KRW and the di#culties that would be involved in securing compliance with the stipulations of a legal aid contract.
KRW have suggested they register to practice in England and apply for a legal aid contract. The LAA have said this is not possible as there are no public tenders out for legal aid contracts. KRW remain open to continued negotiations with the LAA and other government agencies.
KRW have updated both the Coroner and the Home Secretary on the current impasse.
The Home Secretary, in her letter to Julie Hambleton of September 23 2016, said that a Hillsborough-style bespoke funding pot was not acceptable whilst legal aid remained a possibility.
KRW have now said to the Home Secretary that legal aid, from their position, is not possible.
It is back to the Home Secretary now to resolve this untenable situation with anxious scrutiny to ensure Justice for the 21 is achieved through the legal team they continue to instruct.
The next Preliminary Hearing is due to take place 23 February 2017, at the Coroner’s Court building, Bull Street, Birmingham.
Justice4the21 would like to thank the Chief Coroner Peter Thornton QC and Senior Coroner Mrs Louise Hunt for their time, respect and professionalism during this momentous year.
On Wednesday June 1st 2016, Mrs Hunt decided that she did have the authority to resume the Birmingham Pub Bombings Inquest and that she had reasons to do so.
We would like to thank ALL those who have supported our campaign across the years. Without each and everyone of you, our campaign would not be where it is today.
In particular those who took time out of their own lives to help us collect signatures in the cold, those who helped design this website, the Birmingham Mail, BBC, ITV and of course our legal team KRW LAW LLP.
We have been truly humbled by the support from home, far and wide. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you all!
Birmingham Pub Bombings 1974: Senior Coroner, Mrs. Louise Hunt, will make her decision on whether to resume the inquest into the deaths of the 21 people who lost their lives the evening of 21 November 1974, on Wednesday 1st June at 10:00am, which is due to be held at Solihull Council Chamber.
Mrs Hunt has set aside 12th May for her to hear any final submissions from any other ‘interested persons’. This will also take place at Solihull Council Chambers at 10:00am.
Birmingham Pub Bombings 1974: Note of Hearing before Senior Coroner, Mrs. Louise Hunt, 10 February 2016
On 10 February 2016 the Senior Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull, Mrs. Louise Hunt, heard an application by KRW LAW LLP on behalf of three families who lost loved ones in the Birmingham Pub Bombings 1974
Legal submissions were advanced on behalf of the families, the Police Federation, West Midlands Ambulance Service and the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police. These focused on whether the Senior Coroner has the power to resume the inquest into the deaths of the 21 people who lost their lives on 21 November 1974 and, if so, whether there is sufficient reason for her to do so. The Senior Coroner also heard detailed legal submissions on whether a death which occurred before the Human Rights Act 1998 came into force will attract a procedural obligation to hold an Article 2 ECHR compliant inquest.
Ashley Underwood QC and Malachy McGowan BL on behalf of KRW LAW LLP, represented three of the families in the preliminary hearing on 10 February 2016.
Although the Senior Coroner has deferred her decision on whether to resume the inquests, Counsel for the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Jeremy Johnson QC, informed the Senior Coroner that three new sources of information are being examined, including fresh forensic evidence, and that the investigation is not closed. The Senior Coroner was told that West Midlands Police would have “no difficulty in responding to directions for disclosure”, albeit that it would be a “huge undertaking.” The Senior Coroner was told that as many as 35 of the 168 exhibits used as evidence at the Lancaster Crown Court trial in 1975 are thought to have been lost.
After hearing legal submissions from the parties, the Senior Coroner stated that in the absence of any evidence from West Midlands Police she was in an “evidential vacuum”. She stated “I need to adjourn to receive the evidence that I need to make the decision that I need to make”
Giving West Midlands Police until 4 March 2016 to respond, the Senior Coroner asked for information about any informant in the IRA unit, any advance warning of the bombs, any delays in evacuating the bars, whether “reasonable steps” were taken on the night, whether records had been falsified, and for a full list of the evidence that has been lost. That date has now been extended by permission of the Senior Coroner and all Interested Persons have been asked to sign an undertaking regarding confidentiality relating to the material.
The Senior Coroner stated that there will be another hearing for any additional submissions, and she set a provisional date of 6 April 2016 for her decision.
The murder of 21 victims, who were killed in terrorist bomb explosions at The Tavern in The Town and The Mulberry Bush, remains one of the biggest riddles in British criminal history.
The outrage also left almost 200 seriously injured, some of whom lost limbs or were maimed for life.
The killers, an IRA hit team, avoided detection and six innocent men were wrongly convicted of the crime, which happened at the height of the Provisional’s bombing campaign of the British mainland.
Inquests which were opened were never completed because of the conviction of the Birmingham Six.
The six were eventually released nearly two decades later after several appeals and a campaign which won global support.
Since then, no-one has been brought to justice.
Today a statement from the Coroner said she had received an application from lawyers representing the families of victims Maxine Hambleton, Trevor Thrupp and James Craig to resume the inquest that was adjourned by Coroner Billingham in 1974.
“In order to make a decision the Senior Coroner will hear submissions from interested persons at a hearing starting at 10am on February 10-12 2016.
“If you consider that you are an interested person in these proceedings or require further information contact Lynne Boyle on 0121 303 4274 or email@example.com”
The hearing will take place at the Civic Suite at Solihull Council House and she will deliver her decision at the same venue on February 24.
Last year West Midlands Police said unless any new evidence came to light the case would not be re-opened. It admitted it had lost more than 30 pieces of evidence, including a third bomb which failed to explode on the night of November 21, 1974.
Earlier this year legal representatives of some of the victims’ relatives lodged an application with Attorney- General Jeremy Wright for the inquests to be re-opened and concluded properly. He asked for the opinion of the Senior Coroner.
Today Christopher Stanley of Belfast based human rights law firm KRW LAW LLP, which made the application, said: “We are aware that the Senior Coroner, following our application to her to re- open the inquest into the Birmingham Pub Bombings 1974, requires as much information as possible from as many interested persons as possible in order to inform her decision.”
KRW LAW LLP represents the family of Maxine Hambleton, aged 18, who died in The Tavern in Town.
Maxine’s sister and brother, Julie and Brian Hambleton, lead the campaign group Justice4the21 which is seeking the truth behind the blackest night in Birmingham’s history.
Julie Hambleton said: “There are 21 families whose lives were changed forever on that night and they have never been told the truth about what happened. There are many more – the casualties and those who came to their aid on the night – whose lives were changed forever, too.
“The inquests were opened, quite properly, within a week of it happening and then adjourned. They were never resumed after the trial of the Birmingham Six – a trial which later turned out to be a travesty and which led to their wrongful conviction.
“We believe it is only right for the inquest to be re-opened, even after the passing of the years, because it is an opportunity for the truth to be told and a chance for all those left bereaved to find out more about what happened to their loved ones.
“I can only speak for my family, but for us, we cannot move on until we have explored every avenue to try to get to the truth. So we would urge those with a direct interest and those who want to know the truth to contact the coroner.
“We believe that legally and morally we have right on our side and so we must pursue this.”
Paddy Hill, one of the Birmingham Six, said “I fully support the application to resume the inquest into the Birmingham Pub Bombings.
“The families of the victims have received no support since 1974 and now would be the time to ask the difficult questions that need asking – no matter how uncomfortable for all concerned.
“The truth should be out – the families deserve an inquest in compliance with human rights.”