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Possibly the only site dedicated to
bomb and mine fuze collecting
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Dedication Page
I would like to dedicate this page to those whose achievements have been dedicated to bomb disposal through the years and whose dedication to service has to be admired and remembered.
My late friend, Major Stephen Hambrook MBE
For those lucky enough to have met Stephen all will tell you what an interesting soldier and officer Stephen was.

In conversation with me one day he thinks he spent as much time under water in Valletta Harbour Malta as he did on land , he took part in a joint operation clearing Japanese bombs and other ordnance from Pennang a particularly nasty operation as the snakes had infested the buried ordnance some of which was in a highly dangerous state, Stephen only joined that operation because the Sergeant he replaced was injured.

An article here in the UK states that Stephen was the army's top bomb disposal officer, in fact there is a lovely picture of Stephen in a bomb dump smiling and his foot on a bomb case.
Stephen also helped Major Fletcher in the safe disposal of the last German parachute mine found in Kentish Town, London.
There is an interesting story of Major Stephen Hambrook defusing a bomb close to Stanley Airfield...

The bomb was located by Royal Engineers searching the area of Stanley airfield Major Hambrook being tasked to clear this UXB located approx 1,200 yards south of the control tower.

Major Hambrook gently scraped away the sand from around the bomb and gingerly examined the tail pistol confirming his worse fears it was a type 78 all ways acting pistol, the same type that had killed Staff Sergeant Jim Prescott and badly injured Sergeant Major John Phillips whilst trying to defuze a bomb on the frigate Antelope 8 days earlier.

It is suspected that this bomb was probably dropped from a British harrier jet at too lower an altitude and failed to detonate, it was found facing the control tower and pointing down at about 3 degree angle.

Having contacted control tower who diverted all movement of aircraft and personel and instigated a no fly zone Major Hambrook, alone undertook the long walk again to dufuze the bomb.

Making sure the area was clear Major Hambrook assembled a microphone on a very long lead to a tape recorder a distance away so that if anything happened ,those on the ground would know what had happened, the manual states that this sort of pistol should not be defuzed by hand, but with millions of pounds of aircraft around Stephen himself decided the only option was to take it out by hand.

Kneeling next to this cold blooded monster Stephen read out loud into the microphone the details on the kidney plate (A brass plate with manfacturers details etc) it read...
Manf and Date PAT3?69 correction PAT3/68
Type MC 1,000Lb Mk13
Ref No12A 368 Correction 360
lot No Empty Not filled in
Ser Number C4418
Filler date GD9/70
Filling RWA2B
ser number filled 417
Pausing for a moment and with a nasty wind blowing Major Hambrook went back to the pistol and confirmed again that it was a type P78 tail pistol and that it was fully armed and that any sudden movement could cause the bomb to detonate.

The pistol was held in by a multi tagged washer that fitted into recesses in the fuze pocket, these would have to be bent upwards very carefully before he could even think of unscrewing the pistol.

Wipeing his hands on a piece of cloth he looked into his tool bag to find a suitable screwdriver in which to bend the lugs upwards, these he did without any problems, at least now he could very carefully begin to unscrew the pistol, again searching in his tool kit Stephen found a pair of stilson (Long nosed wrench) gingerly he applied the cloth around the head of the pistol to act as a cushion and fitted the wrench conscious that any sudden movement could detonate the bomb.

At first the pistol refused to budge, several times Major Hambrook attempted to loosen the pistol, each time the stillsons wouldnt take hold, he didnt want to use brute force and ignorance on such a delicate operation. Several times more he tried until finally he felt a bit of movement, he rested for a while, then managed to free the pistol enough to unscrew by hand, this he relayed into the tape recorder that he had finally managed to loosen the pistol, enough to carefully unscrew the remainder by hand.
The pistol was now out of the bomb, but he couldnt rest yet, as with this type of pistol the detonator, was inserted first and then the pistol, therefore what went in first comes out last! The detonator used was extremely sensitive and Major Hambrook had no way of knowing what its state was! Luckly in his tool kit he had a pair of measuring callipers, which being long would be able to reach inside and by opening them carefully, extract the detonator, this done Major Hambrook spoke into the microphone, "Mission complete , you can remove the No fly zone, and organise the removal of the bomb" and he added he was off to catch up with his well earned sleep.

The P78 Pistol was an allways acting tail pistol used in 500 and 1,000Lb Medium Capacity bombs
Type Instantaneous impact All ways acting. Arms in flight after 15 revolutions of arming vane which then detaches.
Listen to the actual radio commentary of his defusing the bomb
A selection of images from the bomb
Bomb which was succesfully defuzed by Major Stephen Hambrook at Stanley airfield 29 th December 1982
The instructions for laying the spanish C-3-B anti personell mines
This was found at the side of a actual mine, still in its original plastic bag (next picture
A Press Cutting about Stephen winning his George Medal, outlining his bravery after accidentally stepping on to a mine at Fox Bay.
SADLY Stephen died on the 6Th February 2015. I feel very proud to have actually met and talked to Stephen and for having the opportunity to acquire his Stanley bomb pistol. My gratitude to Major Hambrook for allowing me to publish his account.  A few weeks later Major Hambrook was checking a minefield and stepped on an unmarked mine outside the minefield he was checking and lost his leg.
Stephens Book, 'Once a Sapper Always a Sapper' was published in 2015 and goes into details about his work and experiences.

This remarkable memoir recounts an astonishing career in which its modest hero helped rebuild the town of Skopje in the former Yugoslavia after a terrible earthquake, spent 29 deadly hours without a break diffusing a bomb in north London, and lost a foot while clearing UXBs in the Falklands in 1982 - but still completed a 25-mile march for charity that same year. In 28 years' experience of bomb disposal, much of it as a non-commissioned officer, Stephen Hambrook dealt with more than 2,000 incidents.

Available at all good bookstore or online outlets
Format Paperback | 228 pages
Dimensions 152 x 229 x 12mm | 350g
Publication date 05 Mar 2015
Publisher Tommies Guides
ISBN10 1908336617
ISBN13 9781908336613
Dedicated to Major Arthur Hogben QGM
I'm dedicating this section to someone that a lot people in the EOD world would have known, Major Arthur Hogben QGM, affectionaly known as Uncle Arthur.
13th March 1930 - 3rd July 2022 : Arthur was a good friend for over 30 years and will be sadly missed.
I first met Major Hogben in 1987 who at that time was custodian at EODTIC at Lodge hill, the same year I obtained my first German bomb fuze a type (28)A. Major Hogben gave me lots of information on that particular fuze how it worked and which bomb it was most likely used in ! it was Major Hogben's enthusiasm and encouragement that led to me to begin to collect fuzes, and it was his helpful nature that he instilled in me to help others .

Leaving the army Major Hogben took up the post of custodian of records at Lodge Hill, taking over from his friend wing commander John Mac Bean. A hard task to follow but he did so with relish and was a great success. During this post he advised on various bomb disposal related scenes in both television and film, the most notable being THE ENGLISH PATIENT where he was invited to Rome and met Sophia Loren at the premier opening.

Other television programmes he advised in were HEARTBEAT when a bomb was unearthed whilst digging foundations for a new bungalow (this often happens even today) another TV series was SOLDIER SOLDIER, again a bomb was found whilst building work was going on.

Arthur also wrote articles in various journals on bomb disposal and he also wrote DESIGNED TO KILL, still the definitive book written on bomb disposal, I have a signed copy that I cherish and one of the most read books in my bookcase. He also co wrote BOMBS GONE story of airdropped weapons, with his friend Wing Commander John Mac Bean .

Whenever I obtained a fuze or wanted some information Major Hogben was at the end of the phone and would give me all the information that I would require, He also phoned me one morning to see if I could help him entertain a German bomb Disposal fireworker, Herr Manfred Reichart. I quickly threw a sickie and headed down to meet him. Manfred had been a fireworker in 1944 and after the end of the war had worked alongside both British and American Bomb disposal officers clearing some of his own bombs.

It was through Major Hogben that I was lucky enough to be introduced to Len Jeacocke, whom I drove to various REA meetings over the years and obtained my ticket for the 50th Bomb disposal anniversary service at St Pauls. Len was an instructor at Ripon in the early days of the bomb disposal school in the 1940's and was the longest serving secretary of the Royal Engineers association.

It was Len who put me in touch with Col Stuart Archer. Col Archer who as a young Lt managed to obtain the first ZUS 40 designed to explode the bomb if the fuze was extracted, and also introduced me to Lt Col Eric Wakeling who was a leading authority on the German butterfly as he had first hand experience of these bombs at Grimsby and Hull in 1943 sadly all three have now passed away .

Although Major Hogben has now retired and living in a residential home is still in good health and visited several times a year by myself.
This photo was wired to various American newspapers.
Examining a Herman 1,000Kg Rainham Essex December 75
RAF Falklands
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