Seven military bandsmen were killed by an IRA bomb in Regent’s Park on 20 July 1982.

Serjeant Major Graham Barker, 36, Serjeant Robert Livingstone, 31, Corporal John McKnight, 30, George Mesure, 19, Keith Powell, 24, Laurence Smith, 19, and John Heritage, 29, were all members of the Royal Green Jackets.

They were performing music from the musical Oliver! at the bandstand before a crowd of 120 people when the bomb exploded at around 12.55pm.

Regent's Park Bandstand
Regent’s Park Bandstand

Six of the bandsmen were killed instantly and at least eight civilians were injured. John Heritage died in hospital on 1 August.

The bombing took place two hours after four soldiers were killed in a bomb at Hyde Park.

In a statement referring prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s words in relation to the Falklands War, the IRA claimed responsibility for the terror attack.

Now it is our turn to properly invoke article 51 of the UN statute and properly quote all Thatcher’s fine phrases on the right to self-determination of a people. The Irish people have sovereign and national rights which no task or occupational force can put down.

IRA statement, issued under the name “P.O’Neill”.

While two suspects were charged with the Hyde Park bombing, nobody has ever been charged in relation to the Regent’s Park Bomb.

This case is featured in the historical murder map.

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