Who were the Birmingham pub bombings victims?

Victims of the Birmingham pub bombings Credit: Birmingham Inquests/PA

Twenty one people were killed when two detonations caused what one witness described as "pure carnage" to Birmingham's busy Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town pubs on the night of November 21, 1974.

A further 220 people were injured by the blasts.

An inquest jury has now ruled the people killed were murdered by the IRA.

The victims in the Mulberry Bush pub, in the base of the Rotunda, were:

  • Trevor Thrupp, 33

Mr Thrupp worked as rail guard and was a married father of three. He loved taking his son and daughters on holidays to Sandy Bay in Devon and Great Yarmouth.

He had an “infectious” laugh, loved Laurel and Hardy, The Goons and especially Spike Milligan.

“His love for his family is still with us today and always will be,” his son Paul Thrupp said.

Trevor Thrupp was killed in the Birmingham pub bombings. Credit: Family/PA
  • John Rowlands, 46

Mr Rowlands was a qualified electrician and worked as a foreman at Land Rover in Tyseley, Birmingham.

A married father of two sons, he served with the Fleet Air Arm in the Second World War, and the Mulberry Bush was his favourite pub.

His youngest son Paul Rowlands remembered him as “a bit of a card, a joker” and a “good dad”, while his oldest child Stephen said they lost “a great friend” when he died.

John Rowlands (right) on holiday with his son John in Majorca. Credit: Family/PA

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  • William Michael “Mick” Beasley, 30

Mr Beasley was a stock controller at a motor company, his father had died four months before the bombings.

He led a quiet but full and active life, collected coins, and had a keen interest in film and cinema.

Mick owned an 8mm camera, and was a regular in the projector room of the Odeon in New Street.

The night of the bombing, the wife of the Mulberry Bush landlord, Mary Jones, recalled he had found a lucky Cornish pixie charm on the night bus into town, and gave it to her.

She survived the bombing, and told how she had kept it ever since.

Mick Beasley's lucky charm, found on a bus, was given the pub's landlord. She credits it with bring her good luck. Credit: Family/PA
  • John Clifford “Cliff” Jones, 51

Mr Jones was a railway station postal worker, and a father-of-four.

As a soldier with the Durham Light Infantry in the Second World War, he survived being machine-gunned in combat in 1945, and spent weeks convalescing in a Carlisle hospital.

He was a keen gardener and the Cliff Jones Memorial Trophy is still awarded to Birmingham’s best kept allotment, his son George Jones said.

Mr Jones said his father was "cruelly robbed” of the chance to live and see his family grow.

Cliff Jones worked at the railway station post office. Credit: Family/PA
  • James Caddick, 56

Mr Caddick worked as a porter at nearby Birmingham markets. He was divorced but had two children.

A Mulberry Bush regular, Mr Caddick was stood with his friends, Mr Bodman, Mr Thrupp, Mr Rowlands, Mr Beasley, and Mr Jones in their usual spot at the end of the bar – just feet from where the bomb was planted.

James Caddick worked as a porter at Birmingham markets. Credit: Family/PA

Read more: What's the history of the Birmingham bombings?

  • Stan Bodman, 47

Father-of-three Stan Bodman worked an electrician. He was “larger than life” and “very popular”, his son Paul said.

An ex-RAF wartime serviceman, Stan told his son there was nothing to fear from IRA bombs, as they were not “military or political” targets.

“We certainly got that wrong,” he said.

“The carnage of that night will never be forgotten and as a family we hope the inquest will finally bring some answers to what really happened on that devastating night,” added Mr Bodman.

Stan Bodman was killed by the IRA pub bomb in Birmingham. Credit: Family/PA
  • Charles Gray, 44

Mr Grey was a mechanic at British Leyland in Longbridge, and had never been in the Mulberry Bush before the night the bomb went off.

He never missed a day’s work, and those who knew him said he had “an easy charm and a slight air of mystery”.

His family said he was a “lovely, quiet man” and a “gentleman, mild-mannered and agreeable”, always known for being well-dressed.

Charles Gray had never stepped foot inside the pub before the night he was killed. Credit: Family/PA
  • Pamela Palmer, 19

Ms Palmer was an office worker, who used to take her three-year-old niece shopping.

Her older sister Pauline Curzon said: “She was a lovely sister. She helped me in numerous ways.

“Her companionship and kindness is a memory I treasure.”

On the night of the blast she was at the pub with her boyfriend, Derek Blake, who was in intensive care for days afterwards and lost a leg in the blast.

Pamela Palmer (right) worked in an office. Here she is pictured on a trip to London. Credit: Family/PA
  • Paul Davies, 17, and Neil "Tommy" Marsh, 16

Seventeen-year-old Paul Davies and 16-year-old Marsh were walking at past the pub at the time when the were caught in the blast and killed. Mr Marsh was the youngest of the victims killed in the Birmingham pub bombings.

Mr Marsh’s cousin, Danielle Fairweather-Tipping, said Tommy and Paul had a “very strong” bond, and enjoyed the “carefree life” of teenagers.

She said: “His death has been a devastation to our family and words really can never explain this.”

Mr Davies supported Aston Villa, was “a massive Bruce Lee fan” and had already earned his karate black belt before his 17th birthday, son Paul Bridgewater said.

It was the son he never got to meet, as he died three months before Paul was born, but “I feel his spirit still lives on it me”.

Martial arts fan Paul Davies (left), and Hilda Marsh, at the grave-side of her son Neil ‘Tommy’ March (right). Credit: PA / Family Handout
  • Thomas “Tom” Chaytor, 28

Born in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, Mr Chaytor was a retail assistant at Willoughby Tailoring and part-time barman.

Adopted as a child, he was a divorcee and father-of-two, who three weeks before the bombs had started a job on the bar at the Tavern to earn extra money, his then fiance Susan Hands said.

He died of his injuries on November 27, a week after the blast.

Thomas Chaytor died of his injuries a week after the blast. Credit: Susan Hands/PA
  • Maxine Hambleton, 18

Ms Hambleton was a shop assistant at Miss Selfridge in Lewis’s department store in Birmingham city centre.

She was a “beautiful soul”, her sister Julie Hambleton said, and died not knowing she had been the first in her family to earn a place reading law at university.

Maxine Hambleton worked as a shop assistant at the time of the bombing. Credit: Family/PA
  • Jane Davis, 17

Jane Davis had her eyes set on being a nuclear physicist, was with her co-worker and close friend Miss Hambleton in the Tavern in the Town when she was killed.

She and Miss Hambleton had gone on a coming-of-age grape-picking holiday to the vineyards of France earlier that year, and she sent a postcard home describing how “my back is bloody killing me”.

Her family remembered their “loyal” and “much-loved” daughter, sister and friend, who had the chance of being a mother and a wife “taken from her”.

Jane Davis aspired to be a nuclear physicist before she died. Credit: Family/PA
  • Anne Hayes, 19

Ms Hayes was another retail assistant working at Miss Selfridge, who was in the Tavern that night.

She lived with her parents, and had been an apprentice hairdresser, before taking up retail.

Anne Hayes worked in retail, taking up the trade after being an apprentice hairdresser. Credit: Family/PA
  • Marilyn Nash, 22

Ms Nash was a supervisor at Miss Selfridge, and was out with her friend, Miss Hayes when she died.

Marilyn Nash was out with friends when she was killed. Credit: Family/PA
  • Eugene Reilly, 23

Mr Reilly was a Deep Purple and Black Sabbath fan and his younger sister Mary recalled seeing him play air guitar to his LPs in the lounge of the family home at weekends.

Shy, but “very sociable”, he a was a keen roller skater, and went to the rink several times a week.

He was out with his married younger brother in the Tavern the night he was killed.

Eugene Reilly was out with his younger brother when he was killed. Credit: Family/PA
  • Desmond Reilly, 21

Desmond Reilly had invited his brother into the city, to celebrate news his wife Elaine was pregnant – though he would not live to see his son’s birth.

Their family said: “Eugene never had the opportunity to get married and have children, and Desmond never got to meet his son – part of us died with them on the day they died.”

Desmond Reilly, with his wife, on their wedding day. Credit: Family/PA
  • Stephen Whalley, 21, and Lynn Bennett, 18

Mr Whalley was a quantity surveyor in town on a date arranged through the New Musical Express (NME’s) lonely hearts club page.

In a statement read to the inquest, his elderly mother said: “While I would love the world to know about my son Stephen, and the lovely young man he was, it is just too difficult and painful for me to recall any memories I have because it is too traumatic to remember.

“Stephen was our only child, who had his whole life ahead of him.”

Mr Whalley’s date was Lynn Bennett, 18, a punch-card operator, and the two died together in the Tavern in the Town.

She was “very petite and looked great in miniskirts and platforms”, her sister Claire Luckman said.

A passionate Birmingham City Football Club, her grieving father never set foot in the ground again after her death.

Stephen Whalley and Lynn Bennett were on a date in the pub at the time. Credit: PA / Family handout
  • Maureen Roberts, 20

Ms Roberts was a wages clerk at Dowding and Mills, and was due to be engaged to her boyfriend, Fred Bromley.

An only child, with a “happy-go-lucky” side, she also had a caring nature, buying Christmas presents for neighbours.

Mr Bromley said she had striking auburn hair, “the colour of gold, when the sun shone on it”.

“Everyone would remark on it wherever she went,” he added.

Maureen Roberts was a wages clerk at Dowding and Mills. Credit: Family/PA
  • James “Jimmy” Craig, 34

Mr Craig was an automotive plant worker and keen amateur footballer who once had a trial with Birmingham City Football Club.

He was the last victim of the bombings, dying on December 9, 1974, of injuries he sustained in the Tavern.

Jimmy Craig, who could neither read nor write, was only in the pub that night to meet a girl who had written to him, making the arrangement.

His brother, Bill Craig, said he would never have been at the Tavern, had the letter remained unread but his brother had asked their mother to read it for him.

James “Jimmy” Craig was an automotive plant worker and keen amateur footballer. Credit: Family/PA