community

20th anniversary of Admiral Duncan bombing to be marked with Act of Remembrance in London's Soho

Three people were killed and 79 injured in attack on a London gay pub on 30th April 1999.

2019-04-29

Words: Will Stroude

Survivors of the Admiral Duncan bombing will join families and friends of the victims and wider community members in London's Soho to mark 20 years since the deadly attack on London's LGBTQ community.

Pride in London and anti-hate charity 17-24-30 NationalHCAW will also take part in the annual gathering outside the Admiral Duncan from 5pm on on Tuesday (30 April), before an Act of Remembrance is held in nearby St. Anne's Gardens shortly before 6.30pm.

Three candles representing the three people killed in the attack - John Light, 32, Nik Moore, 31, and Andrea Dykes, 27, who was three months pregnant - will be lit by three young LGBT people from Mosaic LGBT Youth project, while the London Gay Men's Chorus will also perform in their memory.

From left: Friends Andrea Dykes, John Light and Nik Moore were all killed in the attack on 30 April 1999

During the gathering outside St. Anne's Church in Soho, poems will be read by the family of Nik Moore and Andrea Dykes' sister, before a minute's silence is held.

Three people were killed and 79 injured when a bomb packed with up to 1,500 four-inch nails was detonated at the Admiral Duncan on Old Compton Street shortly after 6.30pm on Friday 30 April 1999.

The famous venue was attacked by a neo-Nazi extremist who had carried out similar bombings in Brixton and Brick Lane in the preceding weeks.

The attacker, a former member of the far-right British National Party (BNP) who hoped to be immortalised through the attacks and who we will therefore not name here, had intentionally targeted London's black, Asian and LGBT communities.

He was convicted of murder in 2000 and given six concurrent life sentences. A judge later ruled he should remain in prison for at least 50 years.

Mark Healey, who founded the group 17-24-30 NationalHCAW to remember all three attacks, said: “It’s hugely important that our communities come together to mark the anniversaries of these horrendous events.

A memorial plaque in Soho commemorating the victims of the Admiral Duncan bombing (Image: 17-24-30 NationalHCAW)

"We have a duty to remember those we lost, to show our ongoing support to those affected by these attacks, and most importantly to educate the next generation to make sure these kinds of attacks never happen again.

"We’re good at dealing with the immediate aftermath of these kinds of attacks but more needs to be done to deal with their longer-term impact on our communities. Some of the survivors and the families affected by these attacks are still suffering and need more support.

"I hope our April Acts of Remembrance inspire people to get involved, to build stronger links between all our communities and ensure there is no place for hate amongst us."

You can find out more details about Tuesday's Act of Remembrance here.