Posts Tagged ‘experts’

Prince Harry meets veterans and pays tribute to bomb disposal experts during service at St Pauls

October 26th, 2015

In a poignant address, Mr Kirkpatrick told the congregation: “It is extremely difficult to put into words what Jamie’s loss has meant to us, his family and his many friends.

Prince Harry arrives at St.Pauls (AP)

“We recall many family celebrations and events that would, under normal circumstances, be a source of happiness, but which are now inevitably a source of sadness too.

“We continue to reflect on all the ongoing events that he is now not around to witness and therefore seem somehow incomplete.”

Cpl Kirkpatrick was born in Edinburgh and lived in Llanelli in South Wales. Harry spoke to his family, including his young daughter Polly, at the end of the service.

Wearing a blue civilian suit with three medals pinned to his chest, Harry also spoke to former servicemen badly injured while serving in the forces.

They included Sappers Clive Smith, 30, from Walsall in the West Midlands, and Jack Cummings, 27, from Didcot in Oxfordshire. Both men lost their legs on a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Mr Smith said he chatted with Harry about the Prince’s Invictus Games for injured servicemen, having taken part last year in the handcycling events.

“He is always very approachable and interested in what you have to say,” Mr Smith said.

Harry meets former bomb-disposal personnell at St.Pauls (Getty)

Discussing the service, he said: “It was quite emotional. It brings back memories of events you would rather forget but it was a very good service.”

Serving and retired members of the EOD community will deliver accounts of the conflicts and the part played by EOD units.

Officially formed in October 1940, the original Royal Engineers bomb disposal unit played an important role in the Second World War, dealing with tens of thousands of unexploded bombs in the UK and overseas.

Since then, bomb disposal has expanded from the Royal Engineers to function across the armed forces.

Mr Holland, best known for his long-running BBC Two music programme, has been honorary Colonel of the 101 Engineer Regiment since 2012.

Prince Harry leaves St.Pauls (PA)

He told the congregation that from its origins in the Second World War “this story of human courage is set in such contrast to the evil of indiscriminate destruction; and of the danger of unexploded ordnance, improvised explosive devices, and mines that remain such a threat to life and limb.”

He added: “The story of the men and women who have worked in explosive ordnance disposal is the story of teamwork and bravery, and often of great personal cost and the ultimate sacrifice.”

He also said it was important to remember we had once been “on the other side” and offer remembrance for German civilians who “still live with the legacy of our own weapons dropped in towns and cities that we once targeted for destruction in the battle against tyranny.”


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Army experts safely destroy WWII Bermondsey bomb

March 25th, 2015

Army experts safely explode the bomb at a quarry in Kent. Credit: Ministry of Defence

SAT Lester, of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Royal Logistic Corps, said: “This bomb was a live munition in a dangerous condition. It had been disturbed by some pretty heavy building machinery, which is never a good thing. Bombs don’t like being bashed around.

“But once we’d uncovered it, we knew what we were dealing with and it was just a question of solving the puzzle quickly so we could get it away and the good residents of Bermondsey back in their homes.

“We knew we had to get it away to dispose of it safely because trying to deal onsite with a bomb that size, even under a controlled explosion, would cause significant damage to buildings, (and) property, and the risk of major loss of life in such a highly populated part of the city was very high.”

Buildings around The Grange were evacuated as British Army bomb disposal experts and engineers built a protective “igloo” around the 5ft (1.5m) device to protect the surrounding buildings in case of accidental detonation.


Bomb disposal teams from Shorncliffe Troop 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Royal Logistic Corps and Sappers from 33 Engineer Regiment Explosive Ordnance Disposal were involved in excavating the device (MoD)

The igloo was created from Hesco blast walls, like those used to build Camp Bastion and other military bases in Afghanistan during the conflict there.

The bomb was excavated last night by teams who had previously worked on Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Afghanistan and Northern Ireland. It was then transported to a site in Kent owned by Brett Aggregates for the detonation, allowing people in Bermondsey to return to their homes last night.

On Wednesday night, Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, tweeted: “Thank u 2 members of the Armed Forces & all involved in moving the £UXB 2 Kent today & grateful 2 local £Bermondsey residents 4 patience.”


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Clive James: spare me TV's climate change experts

May 8th, 2014

No, he asked a climate change expert. In Australia, climate change experts are not hard to find. Indeed it is very hard to keep them out of your car: unless you wind the window all the way up, one of them will climb in. This climate change expert was called Tim. Armed with his ability to read the future, Tim predicted that any dry area of the Murray-Darling system was “an indication of what’s coming”, and that “what Australia is experiencing here now” would eventually be experienced by “hundreds of millions of people around the world”.

Simon nodded his moustache sagely but didn’t once ask whether the flourishing wine industry was not part of what Australia is experiencing here now. Nor did he ask whether, in view of climate change, the wine industry was doomed. It was then that the big idea hit me. Why hadn’t he asked the wine grower? It would have been easy to frame the question, perhaps along the lines of: “In view of what is happening to the planet, have you any plans for selling all this colossal acreage of silver metal for scrap?”

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It would have been worth asking the wine grower because his whole way of life depends on what he thinks about the water supply, whereas, with Tim, nothing depends on what he thinks about the water supply except his next research grant and his prospects of getting on screen with the visiting TV presenter so that they can shoot off their mouths together. And at that point I started thinking about all those BBC environment and nature programmes from the immediate past that might just turn out, in retrospect, to have been souping up their science with science fiction.

But you can see the attraction. Sensationalism makes for a splash of danger, and sometimes, when the danger isn’t there, you miss it. In a re-run of the classic little wildlife programme of 2006 Rabbits of Skomer (BBC Four) you could see the danger, or lack of danger, that some animal shows faced before the global warming theme got going.

On the island of Skomer the rabbits, like the puffins, face no mammal predators. In the air, the odd short-eared owl or greater black-backed gull lurks hungrily, but on the whole the rabbits have got it made. They stick their heads up out of their holes and sniff, but all they find is a camera crew looking at them. There is not a single whiff of oncoming planetary doom. If the show were being made now, there would have to be a climate change expert called Tim to say that the whole island will soon be a hundred feet under water with sharks cruising through waves dotted with the corpses of rabbits and puffin chicks.

READ: The bird-land of Skomer isle

Or perhaps not. Perhaps the Beeb, in view of the current shifting of the emphasis in climate science from mitigation to adaptation, is now, at last, dialling down the alarmism. Perhaps they put the Skomer rabbits back on air as a portent of the nature programmes they will make next, with the future restored to its erstwhile position as the long stretch of time about which not even science can know everything.


Greta (Katharina Schüttler) in Generation War Photo: ZDF

At a time when there looks to be a shortage of substantial locally made drama, one had hopes for the German series Generation War (BBC Two). Alas, though well made, it was hopeless. As the Second World War raged, five young friends gradually realised that there was something wrong with the Nazi regime. But you couldn’t help wondering why they had not caught at least an inkling a lot earlier: before, for example, the German army had begun to lose. The civilian clothes and furnishings were exact, and every uniform was correct in all details, but there was something childish about the whole thing: it could have been called “The Clueless Five Catch Up”.

Meanwhile, here in the peaceful Euro present, the sex industry, we are assured, is still an enigma begging to be probed. But which explorer shall we send? A droll fellow, Rupert Everett must have guessed that his viewers would soon be collecting their favourite lines from his dire series Love for Sale (Channel 4). I liked the Brazilian hooker, supposedly upmarket but looking a bit whacked out even through the heavy pixelation, who said: “Half of me don’t want and half of me need.”

In Dylan Thomas: A Poet at War (BBC Wales) the unexciting commentary by Ifor ap Glyn was alleviated by some quoted poems from Thomas himself, including Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines. When the poem was first published, T S Eliot wrote him a letter of congratulations, and one can easily imagine today’s new readers being thrilled to bits at the sound of genius.

REVIEW:

For what genius looks like, there was Ronnie O’Sullivan, unfalteringly brilliant all the way through the BBC’s transmissions of the World Snooker Championship until almost the end of the final. But Mark Selby came back to beat him. I was yelling on my couch. Half of me don’t want and half of me need.

READ: CLIVE JAMES ON ORPHAN BLACK


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