Ernest Radcliffe Bond

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Nickname(s)Commander X[1]
Born(1919-03-01)1 March 1919
Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria
Died20 November 2003(2003-11-20) (aged 84)
Welling, Greater London
Allegiance United Kingdom
Years of service
  • 1935–1946 (army)
  • 1946–1976 (police)
Deputy Assistant Commissioner (police)
Spouse(s)Mabel Phoebe Isabell Laming
RelationsTwo sons and two daughters

Ernest Radcliffe Bond,

Metropolitan Police Service

Bond experienced the

Bomb Squad (later the Anti-Terrorist Branch, now merged into Counter Terrorism Command). His notable achievements in the bomb squad were negotiating the rise of The Angry Brigade, eventually jailing several members. The other major event he negotiated as commander with the Bomb Squad was the Balcombe Street siege, in which two people were taken hostage by four Irish Republican Army members, who demanded a plane to Ireland
. Bond, answering the demands, refused saying that the police "are not going to make any deals". The gunmen surrendered, the event a success for police with no casualties on either side.

Early life

Ernest Radcliffe Bond was born on 1 March 1919 in Barrow-in-Furness, where he lived in a "close-knit community"[2] at 58 John Street.[1] His father, William Edward Bond, was a shipyard worker, and his mother was Annie Elizabeth Bond née Radcliffe.[1] Bond was an apprentice French polisher after he left school.[2]

Military career

Bond joined the

North Africa with his original battalion in the Scots Guards,[1] fighting in the Eighth Army.[2]

In 1941, still in North Africa, Bond joined "L" Detachment in the Special Service Brigade, which became David Stirling's Special Air Service.[1] Bond was part of a parachute training mission in Kabrit, Egypt, against the airfields of Gazala and Tmimi.[2] The conditions were "atrocious",[2] and his aeroplane[1] crashed in desert.[2] He became a prisoner of war for the remainder of the conflict.[1][2]

He was reported to have spent four years in jail in his military career.[3]

Police career

When Bond was released from his imprisonment by the

Detective Inspector.[1]

Bond joined the

Deputy Assistant Commissioner (Operations).[1][2]


two people hostage in Balcombe Street,[4] following a police chase which involved a shoot out on 7 December.[8] The terrorists called the police, in a call which was routed to Bond; who refused their demands of a plane to fly to Ireland,[9] proclaiming that

"They are not going anywhere and they are not getting any plane to Ireland. We are not going to make any deals at all."[8]

The gunmen gave up on 12 December,[10] their surrender sparking fears of reprisals, after what Bond called a "rather humiliating episode,"[11] Bond "masterminded" the operation to regain the hostages.[4] He retired the following year, in 1976, and received the Order of the British Empire[4] in the New Year's honours list.[1] Upon his retirement in February 1976, he had served in the police for 30 years, full of "exemplary conduct."[1] In his time, Bond received 12 Commissioner's Commendations and 7 for "courage, diligence and determination in the course of investigations."[4]

Personal life

Bond married the 23-year-old Mabel Phoebe Isabell née Laming on 29 October 1939, the daughter of a dock worker, Alfred Thomas Laming. They had two sons and two daughters together, who all survived both their parents.[2] When Bond had retired, he indulged his interests in decorating and gardening, and remained a Freemason.[1] Mabel died in 1992, and on 20 November 2003, Bond died of prostate cancer in Welling, in his home.[1]


  1. ^
    doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/92901. Retrieved 16 April 2014. (Subscription or UK public library membership
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Ernest Bond". The Times. 22 November 2003. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  3. ^ .
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Ernest Bond". The Telegraph. 24 November 2003. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Bright, Martin (3 February 2002). "Look back in anger". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d Campbell, Duncan (26 November 2003). "Ernest Bond". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Nine Remanded in Custody". The Glasgow Herald. 25 November 1971. p. 2. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  8. ^ a b "IRA gunmen hold 2 in London flat". The Age. 8 December 1975. p. 7. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  9. .
  10. ^ "1975: Balcombe Street siege ends". BBC. 12 December 1975. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  11. ^ "London IRA alert as gunmen give up". The Age. 15 December 1975. p. 6. Retrieved 19 April 2014.