King's Arms ready for demolition
Two people died when the Kings Arms was bombed in 1974

The Kings Arms in Woolwich, where two people died in an IRA bomb attack in 1974, is finally set for demolition, two years after developers were given permission to knock it down and replace it with flats.

Scaffolding and metal sheeting has gone up around the building, which is opposite Woolwich Barracks. The new development, which was approved in April 2018, is due to see 19 flats go up on the site, including one for social rent and one for shared ownership. A previous scheme approved in 2015 did not go ahead.

A replacement pub is promised along with 19 flats

A new pub is promised on the ground floor: one has stood on the site since the early 19th century, the current building was opened in the mid-1930s. It had its licence revoked in 2016.

On 7 November 1974, a bomb was thrown through the window of the pub. Two men died and 35 people were injured in the resulting explosion, but while the IRA claimed responsibility for the attack those responsible have never been brought to justice.

Paddy Armstrong and Paul Hill were jailed in October 1975 for the Woolwich bomb and bombings in Guildford; those convictions were declared unsafe in 1989.

However those convictions meant inquests into the deaths of Gunner Richard Dunne and a civilian sales clerk, Alan Horsley, were never completed. The two men are remembered on the memorial plaque at St George’s Garrison Church off Woolwich Common.

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