Paddy Blagden

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Brigadier Patrick Martin Blagden CBE is a retired British Army officer and was the United Nations' foremost expert on de-mining working for UNMAS.

Born 15 March 1935, Paddy Blagden spent nearly 35 years in the British Army, of which the last 9 years were spent in Research and Development, operational needs for special equipment and the purchasing of equipment. In May 1988 he joined the engineering staff of Royal Ordnance plc, part of British Aerospace.

Blagden was commissioned into the Royal Engineers from Sandhurst in 1955. He was promoted Lieutenant in 1957, Captain in 1961, Major in 1967, Lieutenant-Colonel in 1975, and Colonel in 1980. He retired in 1988. [1] [2]

In September 1991, he was sent to direct the Royal Ordnance mine clearance and EOD contract in the Gulf, which he managed until the end of the mine clearance phase. In July 1992 he was appointed Project Manager of a Royal Ordnance weapons system, but in August 1992 he was recruited by the UN to set up their mine clearance office, which later became UNMAS.

He ran the UN demining office until August 1995, when he left to become a freelance consultant for the World Bank, the ICRC, the EU (including assistance to the JRC and the writing of contracts for clearance of a minefield in Zimbabwe), and a number of other agencies including the Japanese and Swiss Governments.

In September 1998 he was invited by the Swiss government to assist in the formation of the GICHD, and then to act as its Technical Director, a post he continued to hold until 2011, when he retired to become a local Conservative councillor.[3]

On 10 May 2013, Blagden was elected as Mayor of Farnham in Surrey for the municipal year 2013/14. His term ends on Thursday 8 May 2014.

His son-in-law is Julian Brazier MP.