Prince Charles, Bombs and Barry

Rotarian Barry Buttenshaw

Twickenham Rotarian, Barry Buttenshaw came to our 29th March meeting and gave us an entertaining talk on his former army career as an ammunition officer.

Barry explained how his role in ammunition surveillance had expanded into bomb disposal and into a protection officer for Prince Charles.
A good training in ammunition types had given Barry his introduction into bomb disposal. Recognising the type of explosive was an essential first step in deciding how to deal with it. He told how an unpleasant green liquid leaking from a locked and long-disused locked safe had indicated the presence of decaying nitro-glycerine. An X -ray of the cabinet confirmed the problem but he had solved it by inserting dry ice to cool the nitro-glycerine to a safe temperature and with the help of a reluctant locksmith to open the safe to permit the nitro-glycerine’s removal and disposal.
He had later been assigned to a base near Aberystwyth as part of Prince Charles’ protection squad at a time when Welsh Nationalists had embarked on a bombing campaign against the English. He had found the Prince to be excellent company and they had formed a good friendship. Fortunately, no need had arisen for bomb disposal duties near the prince but Barry had safely dealt with an unrelated explosive package at Newport railway station.
Barry waived any fee for his talk in return for a donation to the End Polio Now campaign, now reaching its
difficult endgame with just two counties, Pakistan and Afghanistan, yet to be declared free from polio.