Newsweek Magazine

2 August 1982, pp. 31-32

The Hyde Bomb Incident


The plumed Blues and Royals were a noble spectacle as they rode their black mounts at a walk through London's Hyde Park. But as the cavalrymen marched past a parked sedan, a bomb hidden inside exploded. Windows shattered for blocks, flames burst high into the air and nails wrapped around the explosive shot out like bullets. Horses fell in a writhing mass, dying soldiers bled into the tatters of their ornate uniforms and a woman passer-by, her face shredded, screamed, 'Help me! Help me!'

Less than two hours later, on a bandstand in Regent's Park, the band of the Royal Green Jackets was giving a concert. As it played a medley from the musical 'Oliver!' a bomb hidden beneath the stage exploded -- and the entire bandstand erupted. 'Everything seemed to come up from the bottom of the bandstand and flew right into the air -- the bodies, the instruments, everything,' said Ronald Benjamin, a member of the audience. 'A leg came within 5 feet of me.'

In one bloody day, the Irish Republican Army once again brought itswar against the English to England. Even by IRA standards, last week's carnage was extraordinary: the blast at Hyde Park killed 4 cavalrymen and injured 22 guards and civilians; in Regent's Park, 6 bandsmen died and 24 musicians and 4 civilians were injured...The terrorists planned their attack carefully. They parked a blue Morris sedan on Carriage Road, about 600 yards along the cavalry's daily route. Hidden inside was up to 10 pounds of gelignite explosive wrapped with hundreds of 4- and 6-inch nails. As the Blues and Royals passed, an IRA member, probably hidden in the trees of Hyde Park, punched a remote-controlled detonator...The bomb [in Regent's Park] was planted under the floorboards of the stage. It was similar to the earlier bomb, but apparently worked on a timing device instead of remote control..."


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