Soldier who survived IRA bomb kills two children and himself

Oct 2, 2012

Hyde Park bomb survivor Michael Pedersen, was found in his car along with his dead son and daughter


MICHAEL PEDERSEN, a member of the Household Cavalry who survived a notorious IRA attack in Hyde Park in 1982, has been found dead on a bridleway in Hampshire alongside the bodies of his seven-year-old son Ben and his daughter Frey, six.

The bodies were found by a dog walker late on Sunday lying near to a Saab 900SE convertible, The Times reports. Pedersen had apparently stabbed the children to death before taking his own life. He had been expected to return them to his estranged wife Erica at 5pm.

Detective Superintendent Tony Harris described the case as "one of the most tragic" he had ever seen. He told reporters that "a Home Office pathologist visited the scene and at this time it appears the children suffered fatal stab wounds and Mr Pedersen took his own life".

Pedersen, 51, was part of a unit of Blues and Royals cavalrymen on their way to a Changing of the Guard ceremony on July 20, 1982, when they were hit by a nail bomb which had been planted under an Austin car on South Carriage Drive in Hyde Park.

Three members of the Blues and Royals died instantly - a fourth died the next day from his injuries - and seven horses were also killed in the attack. Two hours after the first blast, seven bandsmen from the Royal Green Jackets were killed while performing at the bandstand in Regents Park.

Sergeant Pedersen suffered shock during the attack, but his mount that day, Sefton, was terribly wounded after being hit by 38 pieces of shrapnel. According to The Independent, "the horse's battle for survival led to it becoming a household name and synonymous with the fight against the IRA".

Sefton won the Horse of the Year prize in 1982, an award which Pedersen collected, and his plight inspired donations of more than £600,000 which were used to build a wing at the Royal Veterinary College which was named in the horse's honour. Sefton was put down in 1993 still suffering from injuries caused by the bomb.

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