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.