IAN HART: Why has this country failed ‘Backdoor Bob’?

Ian Hart
Ian Hart

The SAS’s ending of the Iranian Embassy siege in 1980 created some of the most iconic images of the late 20th century.

One of the brave serviceman on duty that night was Bob Curry, nicknamed ‘Backdoor Bob’ as that was his mode of entrance when gaining entry to the embassy that night.

Almost 40 years later, Bob finds himself back in the news but, sadly, for different reasons.

Having left the armed forces, his subsequent business failed and his marriage broke down, and Bob has found himself homeless – not before having to sell his treasured medals to a private collector for a reported £20,000.

At time of going to press, Hereford Council still appear to be no closer to helping rehouse Bob at this difficult time in his life.

Ironically, and almost to add insult to injury the last surviving terrorist from 1980 is apparently out of prison and is being housed by a London council.

Despite intense media coverage, the situation remains unresolved.

Hereford council aside, why have we as a nation let Bob and thousands of other veterans – latest figures show 19,000 former serviceman are currently homeless in this country – get into these horrible situations?

One of the most telling quotes about Bob this week was from Jim Davidson, a tireless campaigner for the armed forces.

He stated Bob merely wanted a ‘hand up’ rather than a ‘hand out’.

Given the service he gave this nation, hopefully common sense will prevail and he will get the help he needs, and with any luck this situation will make Mrs May and the powers that be have a total rethink about how we look after our veterans after they’ve left the services.


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