Carver Barracks celebrates 75 years of bomb disposal specialists

Carver Barracks

Carver Barracks - Credit: Archant

Soldiers from Carver Barracks are putting on a series of events to celebrate 75 years of Royal Engineer Bomb Disposal.

A charity boxing match, a performance by The Corps Band at Saffron Hall and a bomb disposal search experience are just some of the events which will help raise the £75,000 target.

Royal Engineer Bomb Disposal began during the Second World War when 134 teams were created to deal with unexploded bombs. More recently teams were deployed to Iraq in 2003 and to Afghanistan.

Lieutenant Colonel Will MacDonald said: “Its formalisation came into being out of the Blitz. It started in the final months of 1939 and it was then fully established in 1940.

“Today we form 29 Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search groups that are made up of us and the Royal Logistic Corps at Didcot in Oxfordshire. The main difference is that they grew out of the conflict in Northern Ireland, now we have drawn together.”

Carver Barracks is home to the 33 and 101 Engineer Regiments of Explosive Ordnance Disposal and is considered to be the nation’s nerve centre for bomb disposal.

BD75 is being held to commemorate the role of Royal Engineers in protecting Great Britain during the Second World War and to mark its continued contribution today, both in home territories and overseas.

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Colonel MacDonald added: “There’s a common misconception about the effectiveness of the modern bomb. About 25% fail to go off but they are just as dangerous as when they were first placed.

“The IED (Improvised Explosive Device) has taken up most of our time for a number of years. Carver Barracks is slightly regarded as a sleepy hollow but the reality is very different.”

The events will be raising money for BLESMA, Royal Engineers Benevolent Fund and Walking With The Wounded charities.

Captain James Wyatt, who served in Afghanistan and is helping organise BD75, said: “We have managed to invite back some of the seriously injured guys and it’s not just about the Second World War, but what is happening now.

“My experience is from 2010-2013, a mixture of counter terrorist operations. My job was supervising the finding of devices in the UK and overseas.

“As a search advisor I should never be putting myself in a dangerous situation. My job is to make sure I have planned the task as well as I can do and minimise the risk.”

Saffron Brewery has released a special BD75 beer to support the cause which is available to purchase at £2.50 a bottle. Anyone interested in purchasing some can email: 29EODGp-WSSU-TQM@MOD.UK

Other events include an exclusive London Bomb Tour which will include talks from historians in Saint Paul’s Cathedral.

Warrant Officer Class 2 Richard Cooke said: “During the war, if you could see the dome of Saint Paul’s, London and England were free, and that was because of bomb disposal.

“The money is secondary; it’s what people take away from it that is most important.”

For more information, or to donate, visit: