321 EOD Book - A Special Kind of Courage

The new book about 321 EOD is being serialised in the "Belfast Sunday Life" newspaper

'A Special Kind of Courage' is written by Chris Ryder who also wrote about the R.U.C. and U.D.R. and is about 321 EOD Company RAOC (later 321 EOD Squadron RLC)


and at http://raoconline.tk/ if the above link is down.

Plus the following editorial:


Sunday Life Comment: A debt we need to pay

24 April 2005

THE people of this province owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Army bomb disposal units.

For over 30 years, they risked life and limb - battling to defuse terrorist bombs.

It is impossible to assess, accurately, how many buildings and lives they saved.

But, their contribution to the fight against terrorism is a considerable one, which should not go unrecognised.

There is a strong case for repeating the honour bestowed on the RUC - by giving 321 EOD the George Cross.

For they displayed a special kind of bravery.

While the rest of us were ushered away from bomb scenes, these ice-cool technicians stayed put.

Down the years, the unit was given a battery of robots and electronic gadgetry - to help and protect them, in their task

But, when the explosives were X-rayed, and the controlled explosions carried out, the ATO - in his cumbersome, protective gear - had to make the 'long walk', to check and remove the devices.

Author Chris Ryder has captured their bravery and skill, in his new book: 'A Special Kind of Courage' - a title that sums up the bomb disposal teams to perfection.

Book is not yet published, but can be ordered in advance from:

Hardcover 352 pages (Due May 5, 2005)
Publisher: Methuen Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 0413772764
Cheers Mike.
I'm in it!! 8) (on the acknowledgements page :oops: )
Sir Rowley Birkin QC said:
I'm in it!! 8) (on the acknowledgements page :oops: )

Geeeeek! :!: :D :cry:

Can I have your autograph you Bomb God? Written with a used match stick if biros & fountain pens are too large and unwieldy :wink:


Am I in it?
cabbage said:
Am I in it?

I don't know. I got to my mention and didn't need to read any further. (and I was too small to turn the pages)


If you are in it I must be Rowley, I am considerably taller than you!

Seriously though is it a decent read?
I read the first five chapters when they were in draft form. They may have changed considerably since then, but yes it did seem to be a good read.
Before these extracts I had only seen the synopsis (outline) and felt it was going in the right direction. RAOC EOD in Northern Ireland is covered by a number of Memoirs, 'Bombs have no pity' by George Styles and 'Fetch Felix' by Derrick Patrick' among them. These books are of course now out of print, and a 321 as a Unit Story linking the RAOC & RLC spanning the past 30 years is long overdue.

One book that is still available is 'A Mother of all Battles' by Terry Walker. Terry was a RAOC Driver not an AT but he touchs on his time with 321. Terry suffers badly from Gulf War Syndrome, and this book continues to his service in GW1 to his less than helpfull discharge. A seach on Google or Amazon should find it.
Mike_2817 said:
'Bombs have no pity' by George Styles.

Lt Col (Retd) George Styles GC RAOC - An incredibly interesting chap! I met him last year in Holywood for a memorial service and a chat about Mk 8B, disruptors & X-Ray kit and all "this fabulous new technology" 8O ! Awesome guy. 8)

There was also a little chap there, who had given up his afternoon of mentoring Jedi's, to turn up for a photo shoot with GS GC. Sir Rowley, You've probably still got the picture on your office wall! :D


Thanks for gthe info Mike-2817 - Must put my copies of "Bombs have no Pity" and "Fetch Felix" on E-bay. "Bombs have no pity" is a signed copy too!


Is there any mention of bleeps in it?
I know we're not very trendy and tend to be kept under the stairs like Michael Jacksons magazine collection, and only allowed out when needed (tea etc.), but we also make up around a 3rd of the squadrons manpower (not counting the escorts).
Still looks like a decent read.


Wobblyhead said:
Is there any mention of bleeps in it?

I hope not :lol:

Don't want to spoil it do they!
Mike_2817 said:
Just received my advance ordered copy this morning, so it is now available. Have to have a quick look at it and let you know what I think...

Well I have had a quick read of the book and was impressed with content, from a history of the trobles and formation of 321 EOD Unit and re-naming to 321 EOD Company. It is based heavily on 5 memoir books, plus the RAOC Corps History 1945-1982 and David Barzilay's 'The British Army in Ulster' Vols 1 to 4. Only missing Kevin Callaghan's 'A Price on my Head' in the credits, while Kevin's GM & QGM are mentioned in the text. Highly recomened if you are into AT/EOD or RAOC/RLC Corps History.

P.S. Credit is given to Bleeps in at least 3 places!


Managed to get a quick squit at the book last night, seems pretty good, with lots of names and stories etc. One slight flaw tho', no mention of hammers when describing how a certain French Commando won his QGM!! :twisted:


GrumpyOG said:
................... no mention of hammers when describing how a certain French Commando won his QGM!! :twisted:

Perhaps we could do a "321 the truth" edition? Reckon that could be quite interesting.
I received my (signed) copy this morning. Was thoroughly enjoying my scan through it until I saw mention of that arrse-part. I nearly spat my cigar out and dropped my monacle. T-wat.

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