Tuesday 20 July 1982
In a devastating double bomb attack the Provisional IRA struck in the heart of the British Capital in Hyde Park and Regent's Park targeting members of Britain's Crown Forces.
The Provos exploded two bombs in London, one at Rotten Row, Hyde Park and the other at the Bandstand in Regent's Park, resulting in the deaths of 11 British Soldiers. The first bomb exploded shortly before 11.00am when soldiers of the Blues and Royals were travelling on horseback to change the guard at Horseguards Parade. Three soldiers were killed instantly and a fourth died of his injuries on 23 July 1982. A number of civilians who had been watching the parade were also injured. One horse was killed in the explosion but a further six had to be shot due to their injuries. The bomb had been left in a car parked along the side of the road and is believed to have been detonated by a member of the IRA who was watching from within Hyde Park.
The second bomb, which exploded at lunch time, had been planted under the bandstand in Regent's Park. The explosion killed 7 bandsmen of the Royal Green Jackets as they were performing a concert at the open-air bandstand. Approximately two dozen civilians who had been listening to the performance were injured in the explosion. It is thought that the bomb had been triggered by a timing device and may have been planted some time in advance of the concert.
British public opinion was outraged by the carnage caused by the IRA attacks. Coming weeks after the British Victory over Argentina in the south Atlantic the loss was keenly felt that London itself was not safe from attack from Britain's enemies. Particular disgust was felt at the loss of the horses of the Blues & Royals who did ceremonial duties in London.