Remembering our Heroes

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This weekend, 11th November is our National Day of Remembrance so please wear your poppy with pride as we remember the fallen soldiers who bravely gave their lives in World War II.

On the 11th November 2015 Captain John Hannaford, pioneer Bomb Disposal Officer of World War II died aged 98, a few days after his wife Joyce, 94. John and Joyce were married for 64 years and they had a joint funeral. They lived in Bexhill and both experienced terrifying ordeals during WWII. Joyce was married and expecting her first child when her first husband was killed in the last great battle at Arnhem in Holland. John became an officer in the newly formed Bomb Disposal Service when he was just 24. He had many near misses, narrowly escaping death on several occasions.

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Bomb Disposal Officers

On one day alone he defused and cleared away 7 German bombs. Many of his own men were unlucky and died clearing our own mines from sandy beaches in South Wales. John never forgot and suffered the mental scars and until his death passed on that information to everyone he met. 350 Men died defusing the 50,000 bombs that failed to explode – many were booby-trapped. Sadly the soldiers were never officially recognised.

Pat Strickson is author of Time Stood Still in a Muddy Hole, Captain Hannaford’s story from his notes and interviews. The book signing will be at the De La Warr Pavilion on the Sunday 11th November. The book is available at good local bookshops or can be ordered online by clicking on this link: Order from Amazon “Time Stood Still in a Muddy Hole”.

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“Time Stood Still in a Muddy Hole” Captain Hannaford’s story from his notes and interviews


  • ‘Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write as you did.‘ Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
  • ‘I do hope that your book will draw attention to the incredible work the Bomb Disposal teams did in World War II and that they still do now. What very brave men they were.’ Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
  • ‘I enjoyed it and it will form a vital part of bomb disposal history for the Royal Engineers.’ LT Colonel Irena Dzisiewska, CommandingOfficer, 35 Engineer Regt. Explosive Ordnance Disposal & Search
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Pat Strickson, author.

Lest we forget

If you believe these brave soldiers deserve recognition please sign the government Petition to Award a separate medal to the Bomb Disposal Service in WWII. You can sign by visiting this website:

Thank you.

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