A coroner has ruled that the inquests into the 1974 Guildford pub bombings which killed four soldiers and a civilian should resume – more than 40 years after they were suspended.

Surrey Coroner Richard Travers agreed that an inquest was necessary following a campaign from the families of victims, survivors, and those wrongfully imprisoned to complete the hearings.

Soldiers Caroline Slater, 18, William Forsyth, 18, John Hunter, 17, and Ann Hamilton, 19, and civilian Paul Craig, 22, died in the blast – carried out by the IRA at the height of the Troubles – at the Horse and Groom pub popular with soldiers on October 5 1974.

Original inquest proceedings were suspended when the so-called Guildford Four – Gerry Conlon, Paul Hill, Paddy Armstrong and Carole Richardson – were convicted over the bombings in 1975.

They were handed life sentences, but had their convictions overturned in 1989, and their case became one of the best-known miscarriages of justice in British legal history.