Framed by a Smoking Gun: Explosive Life of Colonel B D Shaw

ISBN: 9781912575473
Format: Paperback

Book Details

Generations of chemistry students were captivated by B D Shaw’s maverick and humorous approach to chemistry lecturing. His use of Very pistols and a Crimean War musket to demonstrate the power of explosives betrayed his parallel career in the Territorial Army. It was easy to divert him from the mechanisms of chemical reactions to tales of Prisoner of War camps in World War II, though modesty kept him from bragging about his World War I Military Medal. He found fame on BBC Two’s Horizon and continued to demonstrate explosives worldwide to the age of 92. This book draws on a wealth of primary sources including photographs, scripts, recorded interviews, and a treasure-trove of letters written from the POW camps to loved ones in his home towns of Nottingham and Ilkeston. B D Shaw’s story is a celebration of his joint passions for chemistry and rifle shooting, and of his devotion to explaining the science of explosives to the world. His zest for life kept him involved to the end – his 100th birthday celebrations went off with a bang, and he came close to causing a posthumous explosion with the discovery of his secret attic laboratory.

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