A True Hero

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
In an age where footballers and other media muppets are often portrayed as 'heroes', here's some information about a truly brave man who died on Sunday.

Professor John Hudson won the George Medal in 1944 and a bar in 1945.

He volunteered with the RE in 1939 and was evacuated from Dunkirk. After attending a 5-day bomb disposal course he was posted to West Yorkshire where he helped disarm 31 bombs in 8 days.

Then he was posted to London, and spent a lot of time working on ways of defusing bombs. German scientists spent a lot of time making this more and more difficult and hazardous, as they realised that the disruption caused by an unexploded bomb was greater than from the exploded ones.

He was defusing a 500kg bomb with a y-fuse (complicated device incorporating batteries and mercury switches), using liquid oxygen to freeze the fuse mechanism, when the line he had been planning to use to withdraw the frozen fuse snapped. He returned to the bomb and twisted the fuse out by hand. George Medal number 1.

The following year he defused the first unexploded V1, which had three fuses, one of which was a new design. George Medal number 2.

Whenever he and his colleagues devised a new defusing method at HQ, they tried it themselves. Twice. They arranged to be wired up to a phone line throughout the operations so they could describe the steps to colleagues, allowing others to know the cause of any explosion they caused during the procedure.

All this from a man who had a diploma in horticulture (army recruiters thought that was scientific enough) and went on to a long and distinguished career in that field after hostilities ended.
 
#3
Wow - massive respect.

RIP fella.
 
#4
A bomb disposal legend who made it a lot easier for those of us who followed.

When you hear thunder in future you will know it's John Hudson 'messing about' in heaven.

REst In Peace disposalier.
 
#7
How do you win a bar?? I'd love one ;)

I can't pretend to know anything about bomb disposal, but lots of respect is due in my opinion!
 
#8
smudge67 said:
How do you win a bar?? I'd love one ;)

I can't pretend to know anything about bomb disposal, but lots of respect is due in my opinion!
Average life expectancy of a Bomb Disposal Officer during the Blitz was around 10 weeks. There was no real course and no real intelligence on enemy fuzes ... everything was trial and error.
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
I guess the five day course went along the lines of 'This is a bomb. Make the rest up as you go along, and tell the others.'!
 
#10
As you said,Grownup_Rafbrat,a true hero.

They don't make them like that anymore.

As for footballers and other media muppets being total mongs,I couldn't agree more.Poofters the lot of them.

RIP Professor John Hudson.
 
#11
A very impressive man. RIP.
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#12
Respect.
He went on to teach horticulture after demob. Probably never mentioned what he did.

My glass is raised.
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
Will the RE / ATO trade be sending someone down to his funeral or a bearer party?
After all a legend deserves a good send off
 
#14
I can only add my admiration and respect to those who have posted before me.

A brave man - RIP. :cry:
 
#15
the_boy_syrup said:
Will the RE / ATO trade be sending someone down to his funeral or a bearer party?
After all a legend deserves a good send off
Too late I fear ...

Professor John Hudson, CBE, MBE (Military), GM and Bar, bomb disposal expert and horticulturalist, was born on July 24, 1910. He died on December 6, 2007, aged 97

But he will be remembered during the REA BD branch meeting on January 18th with a minutes silence as well as all other fallen bomb disposal brothers.
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
k13eod said:
the_boy_syrup said:
Will the RE / ATO trade be sending someone down to his funeral or a bearer party?
After all a legend deserves a good send off
Too late I fear ...

Professor John Hudson, CBE, MBE (Military), GM and Bar, bomb disposal expert and horticulturalist, was born on July 24, 1910. He died on December 6, 2007, aged 97

But he will be remembered during the REA BD branch meeting on January 18th with a minutes silence as well as all other fallen bomb disposal brothers.
Odd that the Independent didn't get round to publishing his obit until yesterday, and 'misprinted' the date of death as January 6th! They have a way to go.
 
#17
As you may see from my chosen name, I'm an outsider and I'd not normally think of intruding, but I thought that you'd like to know the following:
Fozzy's post suggests that Prof Hudson never said what he'd done in his later life. This isn't quite true. Whilst he was pretty well everything you'd like to think from his various obits, there were times when he opened up a little. My father, who worked in his civilian department, said that on very quiet Friday afternoons and the circumstances were right, he'd open his desk drawer and get out a set of beautifully polished fuses and tell the story of each one. All this in an extremely modest way. As a kid, I would have loved to have seen these trophies and heard the stories, but the The Prof was a very modest man and I was quite in awe of him. He was the first man to have defused a V1.
I always held him in the highest esteem- deserving not only the George Medal and Bar, but MBEs both for his military and civilian achievements.

Other than that, I'd like to thank the merry chappie in your team in a fully-liveried Land-Rover (complete with blue light and "Something" heavy clunking around in the back) who stopped and gave me and a mate a lift way back in the '70s. You folks have style and I'll wish you all the best of luck.

I'll sign out now and keep my nose out of your business from now on, but I hoped that you'd like to know...
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#18
Believe it or not but most of the fuzes used in the beginning of the war were patented and held at the London Patents office. I think researchers found this by late 1940 in time to confirm most if not all information already glead by the UXB teams.
My late Step Father in Law was heavily involved on the Dark Blue side.
 
#19
mte_outsider said:
As you may see from my chosen name, I'm an outsider and I'd not normally think of intruding, but I thought that you'd like to know the following:
Fozzy's post suggests that Prof Hudson never said what he'd done in his later life. This isn't quite true. Whilst he was pretty well everything you'd like to think from his various obits, there were times when he opened up a little. My father, who worked in his civilian department, said that on very quiet Friday afternoons and the circumstances were right, he'd open his desk drawer and get out a set of beautifully polished fuses and tell the story of each one. All this in an extremely modest way. As a kid, I would have loved to have seen these trophies and heard the stories, but the The Prof was a very modest man and I was quite in awe of him. He was the first man to have defused a V1.
I always held him in the highest esteem- deserving not only the George Medal and Bar, but MBEs both for his military and civilian achievements.

Other than that, I'd like to thank the merry chappie in your team in a fully-liveried Land-Rover (complete with blue light and "Something" heavy clunking around in the back) who stopped and gave me and a mate a lift way back in the '70s. You folks have style and I'll wish you all the best of luck.

I'll sign out now and keep my nose out of your business from now on, but I hoped that you'd like to know...
Thanks for that very interesting story and brief insight to the man. You are a prvilaged individual to have met such a man.

REgards,

k13

ps it wasn't me who picked you up as I am grumpy tw@t!!!
 
#20
mte_outsider said:
As you may see from my chosen name, I'm an outsider and I'd not normally think of intruding, but I thought that you'd like to know the following:
Fozzy's post suggests that Prof Hudson never said what he'd done in his later life. This isn't quite true. Whilst he was pretty well everything you'd like to think from his various obits, there were times when he opened up a little. My father, who worked in his civilian department, said that on very quiet Friday afternoons and the circumstances were right, he'd open his desk drawer and get out a set of beautifully polished fuses and tell the story of each one. All this in an extremely modest way. As a kid, I would have loved to have seen these trophies and heard the stories, but the The Prof was a very modest man and I was quite in awe of him. He was the first man to have defused a V1.
I always held him in the highest esteem- deserving not only the George Medal and Bar, but MBEs both for his military and civilian achievements.

Other than that, I'd like to thank the merry chappie in your team in a fully-liveried Land-Rover (complete with blue light and "Something" heavy clunking around in the back) who stopped and gave me and a mate a lift way back in the '70s. You folks have style and I'll wish you all the best of luck.

I'll sign out now and keep my nose out of your business from now on, but I hoped that you'd like to know...
Not at all your contribution is both welcome and gives a little more insight into the personality and workings of a great man.

It is this sort of work that being awarded an honour is all about.. Seems these days M and OBE's are dished out all and sundry and for very little achievement.
 
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