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Bomb disposal hero shares Taliban story during Wolverhampton event

By Annabal Bagdi | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

He's the most highly decorated bomb disposal expert in the British Army.

Warrant Officer Hughes helping to dispose of an explosive device

Now Warrant Officer Class 1 Kim Hughes is preparing to stop by in the city to reveal his fight against the Taliban bomb-makers.

The George Cross recipient is set to speak to guests about his time on the frontline during a special event at the University of Wolverhampton.

Professor George Kassimeris, chairman of Security Studies at the university, said: “This will be a talk about science, bombs, and what happens to the human psyche when every day you go to work might be your last.

“The back drop to Kim Hughes’ lecture is the Afghan War, the conflict where the cold courage of the bomb disposal operator rose to national prominence.

"No other field of warfare offers the chance of a single individual to come so close to his enemy and fight out a battle of wits where losing can mean death."

British Army officer Kim Hughes will visit the city

Warrant Officer Hughes was the 74th living recipient of the George Cross, awarded to him as a staff sergeant after a gruelling six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2010.

The former Thomas Telford School student risked his own life to save his comrades, defusing bombs manually without protective clothing during the conflict.

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He defused 119 improvised explosive devices, survived numerous Taliban ambushes and endured a close encounter with the Secretary of State for Defence.

Hughes' selfless acts of bravery were recognised in his citation read to Buckingham Palace by Chief of the Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup.

He said: "Dealing with any form of improvised explosive device (IED)is dangerous. To deal with seven Victim Operated IEDs linked in a single circuit, in a mass casualty scenario, using manual neutralisation techniques once, never mind three times, is the single most outstanding act of explosive ordnance disposal ever recorded in Afghanistan."

Warrant Officer Hughes was born in Germany, where his father was serving in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

He returned to England in 1985, living in Weston-super-Mare before moving to Telford three years later.

The 38-year-old, whose autobiography 'Painting the Sand' is an international best-seller, will present the free public lecture at Chancellor's Hall at 1pm on March 13.

Annabal Bagdi

By Annabal Bagdi
@AnnabalB_Star

Senior reporter based at head office in Wolverhampton. Get in touch on 01902 319 229 or at annabal.bagdi@expressandstar.co.uk

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