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Obituary: John Hannaford


John Hannaford seems to have been an ordinary man, whose wartime posting to a bomb disposal unit made him extraordinary. The descriptions of defusing bombs reminded me of those of the work of Kip in Michael Ondaatje’s book The English Patient:

“It was very difficult, he said, for people to understand what it was like to be lying flat on your stomach in muddy water at the bottom of a 30ft shaft where the sides could cave in at any moment, running your fingers over a cold, sinister-looking, green-grey steel bomb that could send you to eternity.”



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