A hero Household Cavalry soldier, who with his horse Sefton survived one of the deadliest IRA attacks in central London 30 years ago, has been found dead alongside the bodies of his two young children at a secluded rural spot in Hampshire.
Michael Pedersen, 51, was discovered on Sunday night with his two children – Freya, six and Ben, seven – near their car in a bridleway in Hampshire. All three were dead.
On July 20, 1982, Pedersen was a member of the Household Cavalry unit hit by an IRA nail bomb as they rode through London’s Hyde Park on their way to the Changing of the Guard.
The blast killed four soldiers and seven horses from the Blues And Royals, and injured many more riders, horses and spectators.
Pedersen’s horse, Sefton, became a celebrity after sustaining appalling injuries in the blast but making an amazing recovery – appearing on many TV programmes and even being awarded Horse Of The Year.
Pedersen also suffered injuries from the blast but recovered and carried on with his life.
Neighbours today told how Pedersen, known as Mick, had split from his wife Erica just three weeks ago following a drunken row at a party.
One neighbour said he believed police had become involved and he was banned from being near his wife.
The neighbour, who asked not to be identified, said: ‘He had split up from his wife only around three weeks ago. She had a bit too much to drink and she kissed another bloke and Mick saw.
‘I think that the police had some type of order out on him and he wasn’t allowed to go within 500 yards of the home. I’m not sure why.’
The neighbour added: ‘Mick was in the Queen’s cavalry, he joined when he was a young man, but he had left some years ago.
‘He loved his kids. You would never have thought he would do something like this.’