The Man Who Played Ross – Chapter 27

Photo by Matt Hearne on Unsplash

Jarvis had dumped the stolen cab in Birmingham and caught a train home. The next day he headed northwest out of Abergavenny towards Peterchurch and took an unnamed road up Stockley Hill. He left his motorbike in a wood and camouflaged it, before moving up a bridal path to a small, wire enclosure and carrying a small rucksack. In the middle of the enclosure was a grassy mound with a square, concrete projection some three feet high. On top of the concrete there was a metal hatch and surround, which had been welded shut. There was a hole on the far side of the compound fencing and he wriggled through and waited in cover until two girls on horseback rode past.

Peterchurch Royal Observer Corps (ROC) post had been completed in 1964 and closed in 1991. It was built to the classic ROC design. Once a site was chosen (usually the site of an aircraft observation post), a hole approximately 9 feet deep was excavated. Within this hole, a monocoque structure was cast using reinforced concrete with a floor about twelve inches thick, walls about seven inches thick and a roof about eight inches thick. The whole structure was then bitumen ‘tanked’ for waterproofing purposes. Soil was compacted over the structure to form a mound leaving the access shaft, doubling as an airshaft, protruding above ground. At the opposite end of the building, a further air shaft was formed. Two metal pipes, one 5 inches in diameter and one 1 inch in diameter protruded from the roof and above the four-foot mound to be used with operational instruments. The air vents were covered by downward-sloping louvres above ground and sliding metal shutters below ground to control air flow during contamination by radioactive fallout.

Hidden from the bridal way near the access shaft, Jarvis felt for a dummy, wooden tray that contained earth and foliage and lifted it. This was to conceal a second tunnel he had dug and shored with wood, allowing entry to the vertical access shaft. He switched on a head torch and went down into the hole feet first, crawling a few feet with the rucksack at his head, until he felt the open entrance drop away and felt for the steel ladder with his feet. Climbing down the ladder, he descended into the bunker.

The monitoring equipment was long gone, but the steel framed bunk beds were still there. At the furthest end from the access ladder, a smaller room contained a filthy sink and lavatory and two large, metal mortar round cases in brown with white lettering. One contained rifles, carbines pistols, sawn off shotguns and ammunition, but it was the second case he was interested in. He had wrapped the weapons in the oiled pages of an Irish newspaper, so that in the unlikely event the bunker was ever searched, it would be thought to be a Provisional IRA weapons cache.

Jarvis unlocked the padlock and took out of the case some powerful magnets, a bag of ball bearings, a sheet of thin copper, one package of what looked like plasticine, two spools of thin wire, something the length of a pen, which he handled very carefully, two mobile phones and two SIM Cards. He put the items in the rucksack, re-locked the case, left the bunker and camouflaged the entrance hole. Once he was happy nobody was about, he walked back down the Bridal way to his stashed motorbike and headed back towards Abergavenny. On the outskirts of the town he stopped at a large DIY outlet and purchased some extra-strong, quick drying epoxy resin adhesive, a roll of black duct tape and a tin of furniture polish. Back at his flat he emptied out the polish into a sealable plastic bag (waste not want not) and drilled a hole in the side of the cleaned polish tin near the bottom. He had a meal, grabbed a bottle of wine and headed for the M50. The bike’s number plates had been stolen from a similar bike in a lock-up that morning.


He had been watching the rather nice house on Reigate Heath for two days, well camouflaged in a hide where he could overlook the house and the drive leading to the Road. It would be impossible to take him at the house, not to mention morally repugnant, as he had a wife and two young children. The house was walled and gated, with motion activated security lights. Watching him leave, Jarvis knew that Peterhead didn’t check under his SUV before getting in it. His best bet was the short, daily commute from his house to Reigate Railway Station and the return journey at 18:30. Jarvis waited until it was dark, packed away the hide and walked to his motorbike half-a-mile away. He headed towards the cheap hotel in Guildford to make the final preparations. He would kill Timothy Peterhead the next day.

That night Jarvis shaped the sheet of copper into a concave cone, hammering it gently on a jeweller’s leather bag. When it was the right shape, he cut it in a circular shape with metal snips and smoothed the edges with a file. He tried it on the tin of polish to make sure it didn’t overlap the sides and then roughened the sides of the container, four near the top and one area at the side.

C-4 or Composition C-4 is a common variety of the plastic explosive family known as Composition C. A similar British plastic explosive, based on RDX but with different plasticizer than Composition C-4. It is known as PE-4 (Plastic Explosive No. 4). C-4 is composed of explosives, plastic binder, plasticiser to make it malleable, and usually a marker or odorizing chemical, but this had been omitted from this batch. C-4 has a texture similar to modelling clay and can be moulded into any desired shape. C-4 is metastable and can be exploded only by the shock wave from a detonator or blasting cap.

Jarvis began to fill the tin with C4, then a layer of ball bearings with a final layer of plastic explosive on the top, shaped in a cone like the copper sheet. He plugged in an electric soldering iron, lay the shaped copper sheet onto of the tin, pressing down gently onto the explosive. The cone was depressed in the middle, rising to the sides of the tin. Then he sweated the copper onto the top of the container, using a low melting point solder and plenty of flux and waited until it cooled.

Next, he mixed up a generous amount of the epoxy resin and fixed the four magnets to the top of the tin with the magnets protruding upwards, proud of the top rim of the tin by about a quarter of an inch. When it had set, he reinforced the four magnets with strips of duct tape. He next checked that the wires protruding from the detonator were taped for safety and very carefully pushed the pencil detonator into the hole at the bottom side of the tin so only the two wires protruded. Jarvis picked up one of the mobile phones and opened the casing, stripping it down to get to the electronic circuit board. The wires were stripped back with a Leathermans. He put flux on the ends of the wires and carefully soldered the wires to the circuit board, put a nick in the plastic casing to allow the wires through and glued and duct taped the mobile phone to the side of the tin. When he switched it on, the explosively formed projectile would be live and powerful enough to blast through the chassis of a car, not to mention wreck the hotel’s wing.

He put the device in a sealable food bag, put it in his rucksack, opened the bottle and started to drink the litre of wine, because his hands had started to shake. Jarvis finished the wine and started on a hipflask, until he fell into a deep, dreamless oblivion.


The next afternoon he found the SUV parked in the station car park and observed the comings and goings for half an hour. Satisfied that it would be quiet until the evening rush hour, Jarvis approached the vehicle. He was wearing a dark hoodie to obscure his face from the car park security cameras. He looked around, crouched down, slipped the device out of the rucksack and switched on the mobile phone. Despite the underseal, the magnets easily held the device in place and it was completely unobtrusive, clamped directly under the driver’s seat. From now on, he hoped that nobody would dial the wrong number. Jarvis went and waited in the car park of a nearby DIY store, from where he could watch the station’s entrance.

The first train arrived from London, but he wasn’t on it. Twenty minutes later, Jarvis spotted him with a throng of passengers, pouring out of the station. Most headed towards the town, but he headed back to the car park. He was alone. Jarvis pulled on his motorcycle helmet and waited for the SUV. As it pulled out, he followed it at a discrete distance, but it was easier now as it was getting dark. The car headed south on the London Road and then west along the A25. The traffic thinned near Reigate Heath and Jarvis turned left down Bullingham Drive, unzipped a breast pocket on his leathers and pulled out a mobile phone. There was only one number in the contacts list and he pressed the call button. There was a delay of two or three seconds, then a sudden flash to the west like lightning in the night sky, followed a second later with a deep boom.

The pulse of electricity went from the phone’s electronics to the detonator, which exploded with a small but powerful burst of energy. The shock wave set off the main charge of C4, which blasted down on the road, melting the asphalt and lifted the two tons of car off the road. The Copper sheet and underside of the vehicle were vaporised, but the copper was now plasma. Because of the Monroe Effect, the molten plug of copper was forming into a projectile in the milliseconds it took to blast through the underside of the car and the driver’s seat. Timothy Peterhead was already dead, his internal organs ruptured by the blast wave in an enclosed space. Designed to penetrate composite armour plate, the plug of copper plasma followed by the white-hot ball bearings effectively turned his body inside out as particles of a vaporised Timothy Peterhead exited through the SUV’s roof.

Feeling sick at what he had just done, Jarvis vomited then gunned the motorbike and headed back east to pick up the M23 and then the M25. He paused just off the M5 to post three packages containing documents, as per his instructions. One was to Al Jazeera European offices,the other to RT News and the third to Sir Alex Younger, head of the SIS. He was out of the area before the mass of blue lights and sirens arrived. Of the MI6 agent they only found his hands still gripping the steering wheel and his lower legs.


Russia Today website report dated 30th November 2018

A leaked file we have obtained, has shown that the British Security Services were complicit in the State sponsored murder of one of their own double agents in Iraq in 2005.

The double agent Muhammad Al Jazari codenamed Gadwall, was shot by a British Special Forces team in Iraq in 2005. His murder was ordered by the British Secret Intelligence Services at the behest of the Iranian government under an operation codenamed Hussite. During a later meeting held on 12th March 2012, it was decided that the British Special Forces soldiers involved in the shooting of Mr Jazari, should be referred for war crimes investigations. Present at the meeting were both Defence and Foreign Office ministers.

It is alleged that following their convictions, both Special Forces Soldiers were to have been confined in a prison with a high percentage of Muslim prisoners and killed during a prison riot. However, one of the soldiers committed suicide and the second went missing before a war crimes tribunal could be convened.

Last week two members of the British Secret Intelligence Service died under mysterious circumstances, both involved with Operation Hussite. Miranda Hollins was found in her home, drowned in a holdall in her bath, with multiple injuries to her body. She had briefed and de-briefed the SAS sniper team in Iraq in 2005. Timothy Peterhead was killed when a bomb exploded under his car near his home in Reigate. He is believed to have been instrumental at setting up Operation Hussite and providing the link between MI6 and the British Government. A British Government spokesperson has denied all of the allegations and stated that it is likely that the Russian FSV is responsible for the murders of the two civil servants, due to the sensitive case they were working on, regarding Russian cyber-attacks. They have refused to confirm or deny if the two murdered officers were MI6 employees.


He had to get away, running from the sheer evil that he had done. The area around Hereford held nothing for him and he dreaded meeting Hafwen again, by chance. He was deeply ashamed and now the nightmares had taken over to the extent that he dreaded sleep. His passport to oblivion lay in a bottle.

Jarvis resigned from his job the following working day and he went home and started to put his affairs in order. He had no need of work, his pension, an untouched gratuity and the nest egg his father had bequeathed, ensured he could make a new life somewhere else where nobody knew him, but where?


Five miles Southwest of Sidi, Northern Democratic Republic of the Congo

Morrison was running away as well. He had nothing to live for and welcomed death and death followed him around, so he might as well have been as productive with it as possible. It was evening, the mosquitos were biting and he could hear the boom of the hippos down in the Ubangi River. The muddy, sluggish waterway was the border between The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) and the Central African Republic, although borders meant nothing to the terrorists of Boko Haram.

They had come in the night the previous week to Baya, to kill and burn and abducted around fifty girls for rape and sexual slavery. Morrison’s African scouts had traced their passage to the tiny township of Sidi and he had returned from a meeting with the French CIGN, who would be going in later in the small hours to rescue the girls.

This was the kind of soldiering that Morrison had been looking for all his life. Technically he was a mercenary, but avoided serving with the Russian, Ukrainian and American Psychopaths. He was employed by the DROC Government and had personally selected and trained the forty or so Congolese Scouts. He trusted them and they he, because he had nothing to prove and no fear of them or the enemy. He was a hard taskmaster, but shared the discomforts of the men, although he was getting rather too old and stiff for this life, but he reckoned he had at least three more years. He wouldn’t last that long anyway.

He had plans for these men and hoped one day to teach them how to parachute, to make a unit along the lines of the Selous Scouts. He even knew a half-mad Dutchman, who was still operating a DC3 out of of Punia, hauling freight. He just needed some chutes and the blessing of the DROC government. These scouts would never storm aircraft, but they understood the bush, they were at home in it and they were excellent fighters.

Morrison went into the camp and was pleased to see they were operating under hard routine, no voices, no lights or fires. He tracked down his Lieutenant, Kabedi and asked him to assemble the four sergeants for an O-Group while he grabbed a quick bite of beef jerky and fruit and nuts to keep energised. It was the turn of the fruit bats to make their nocturnal sojourns and he saw dim shapes flitting among the trees. The five Congolese soldiers were waiting for him, their eyes gleaming with expectation.

“Is it tonight, Boss?”

“Yes. The French commandos will be going in at 03:00. We have to be in position, silently to form a defence screen. Once they have extracted the hostages…”

“Sorry, Boss. Extracted?” Asked one of the sergeants.

“Got them out. Then we unleash hell on whoever’s left.”

Morrison drew with a stick in the dirt, “The buildings where the girls are. The main township of Sidi. We go round the buildings and set up on the edge of the jungle along here, between the hostages and the main force in Sidi. Once the helicopters have gone, everything and everybody to our northeast is fair game. Set the two GPMGs up here, covering the road, here and the 80mm mortar in this clearing. High explosive rounds only tonight, Kabedi and two hundred and forty rounds of ammunition with each man.

“We take no prisoners, but this is important. Tell your men, no mutilations. The French will have a television crew in tomorrow as soon as it’s light, so the last thing they want to see is heads on stakes.”

“And the French will take all of the credit, Boss?”

“Naturally. However, they will pay us one hundred thousand US Dollars, which means a good bonus for each man, so no choppy-choppy. Got that?”

Heads nodded in the darkness.

“Right, we move out at 23:00. Brief your men and good luck to you all.”

There are many people out there, particularly among those who had never been to Africa, let alone having been in one of the many wars, who would have thought Morrison’s relationship with the native troops was rather paternal. He couldn’t have cared less. They were soldiers before he arrived and he had to work hard to gain their trust and respect. He had formed the unit into an effective fighting force, well trained and equipped to take on the Islamic terrorists of Boko Haram. But most importantly, he had given them a sense of purpose and he liked them, struggled with the Congolese government to ensure that these men were well equipped and trained. Now they were good soldiers, and that night they would take the fight to the enemy.


They moved out at 23:00, bang on schedule. They covered the ground quickly, steadily and silently, no jingle of equipment and absolutely no talking. Morrison was immensely proud of these men and with good reason, because he believed that these were the best troops in the Congo. They skirted round the missionary complex southwest of Sidi, like a column of soldier ants flowing around an obstacle on their inexorable march. They heard laughter and voices and a girl screaming, but pressed on. It was up to the French commandos to take the compound.

At the crossroads they fanned out, two sections on either side of the road southwest, with the machine gun sections dominating the crossroads. The mortar team set up with the command section and Morrison went forward to give the men their final briefing. He checked that they knew their interlocking arcs of fire and phase two of the operation, the clearing of the township. And then it was time to hunker down and wait and in Morrison’s case, get eaten alive by the mosquitos.

The French were late. At 03:11 they heard the chop of the Super Pumas sweeping in from the west, the commandos beginning to fast-rope from the aircraft as they approached their targets. They heard the boom of the stun grenades and the rapid fire as the terrorists were overpowered, the commandos dragging the girls outside and killing the Boko Harem as they lay stupefied in their beds.

The interference from the township came as the two Super Pumas carrying the abductees took off. A group of two armed pick-ups, crowded with troops, trundled down the road from Sidi and the two vehicles were riddled with a hail of fire from the two GPMGs, the belts of 7.62mm ammunition shredding the vehicles and their occupants. Morrison had sited his ambush positions well and the Boko Haram fighters who tried to outflank the road to reach the mission were cut down.

The last of the helicopters took off and more fighters appeared from the buildings. Morrison gave the order and the mortar went into action, lobbing HE rounds into the flimsy, shanty town. The stonking continued until they were running short of rounds and he ordered the troops forward to clear Sidi. The fighting was vicious and close quarter, some of his troops using machetes to slaughter the Muslim terrorists. It was over in less than half an hour, by which time the few surviving Boko Haram fled across the river, back into the Central African Republic. He ordered the sergeants to find out how many casualties they had sustained count and redistribute the ammunition. They rested in Sidi for a few hours, then moved back to Baya.

“The boys did well, Kabedi, and you and the sergeants.

“Two dead, Boss, three wounded. We buried our men but have left the Mohammedans to rot.”

“Good. It will send a message. When we have more men, we’ll cross the river and take the fight to them. Perhaps by parachute.”

Kabedi smiled in the darkness, “It is your wish if God wills it.”


But Morrison would never realise his wish. The fever struck, first the hot phase and then the cold shivers. By the time he realised how sick he was and Kabedi drove him and managed to get to the Catholic Hospital in Gemena, he was delirious with fever. The doctor and nurses knew there was no hope and a compassionate Indian nurse from Chennai watched over his final hours. They knew he was a mercenary, but they also knew for which cause he had been fighting. Morrison’s fever broke in the small hours and after hours of delirium, he was lucid and at peace with himself. The Indian nurse tried to get him to drink some water.

“I should have remembered to keep taking the Lariam. Bad drills, but I couldn’t stand the nightmares” Morrison said softly. He looked up at the nurse, who smiled at him sadly.

“Do you want me to get the priest?”

“I’m not one of your mob.”

“We are all the same before God.”

The priest heard his final confession and administered the sacrament of the last rights. The nurse was with him as the end came.

“Do you know, you’ve got the most beautiful eyes? They are just like someone’s I once knew. But by God I loved her.”
He closed his eyes and she held his hand while he died. They buried him in the grounds of the Catholic mission at Kisangan, a priest, a nurse and a Congolese soldier called Kabedi, stood around the newly-dug grave with a simple wooden cross, which had the following inscription:

Henry Morrison. A soldier known unto God. May he finally have found peace.

The termites consumed the cross within two years. Such is the way of the Congo.

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