Royal Engineer Bomb Disposal units were originally formed to deal with the thousands of German bombs dropped during the blitz and that role continues to this day, with WW2 bombs still being uncovered on building sites. The wartime work of these men was accurately dramatised in the 1970s TV drama “Danger UXB”.
Royal Engineer Bomb Disposal units were also heavily committed to the Falklands, Balkans, Gulf and Iraq wars, with Royal Engineers recently forming the largest element of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search Task Force in Afghanistan. They continue to work all over the world, both on operations and training other nations. Much of the modern role is dealing with terrorist bombs and searching for them.
Rod MacArthur has a talk covering the history of these units from when they first started during the Blitz in 1940, through his time commanding a Royal Engineer Bomb Disposal Squadron in the 1970s, up to what is happening today. As Chairman of the Royal Engineer Bomb Disposal Officers Club he keeps in touch with the latest developments and updates the talk each year. There is a 45 minute version and a 30 minute version, the longer one having more detail of organisation and Bomb Disposal techniques.
These talks are given to raise money for the Felix Fund which is a military charity supporting Bomb Disposal personnel (Army, Navy, Air Force and Metropolitan Police Bomb Squad) and their families. The Felix Fund is named after the Felix cartoon cat, with 9 lives, which was adopted as the badge of the Bomb Disposal teams in Northern Ireland.