Writer raises £10,000 for the NTF
Writer and ex-RAF Officer, Bob Kermeen, whose wife Jan, suffers from essential tremor has raised £10,000 for the NTF since January 2013.
Bob was born and schooled in the Isle of Man. After graduating from Nottingham University, Bob was commissioned into the RAF in 1966. During 29 years’ active service, he gained an MSc in Operational Research. Specialising in software design, he became a Chartered Engineer. For his expertise in war gaming he was subsequently awarded a Fellowship of the British Computer Society. He retired as a Wing Commander in 1995, but retained his rank as a retired officer to become the senior RAF recruiting officer in the North West of England for 10 years.
He now spends his time writing and giving talks to raise funds for the NTF. The NTF would like to thank him for raising awareness of tremor and funds for the Foundation.
Find out more about fundraising.
Novels by Bob Kermeen
A Nastia Game
He was the RAF Staff College’s systems analyst between 1974 and 1977 and successfully built a computerised war game called Nastia Game for training officers in the art of air warfare. The software was subsequently sold to the Iraq Air Force in 1978 by MoD and forms the basis of his first novel, A Nastia Game, in which the computer programs are enhanced to help plan Iraq’s invasion of Iran.
Bin Laden's Nemesis
His second book is Bin Laden's Nemesis. In 1990, the underground industry of importing arms to Ireland had gone into reverse as a result of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Arms were being exported by the IRA to an organisation calling itself Al-Qaeda. Juan Quayle, a Manxman and MI5 agent, infiltrated the terrorists, but when they killed his family, Quayle sought revenge.
The third book, Iraq's Retribution, completes the two stories with much of the action taking place in the USA. All three novels have the same heroine, Kate, and are set against the backdrop of Iraq’s missing Weapons of Mass Destruction.
The World Is Empty
His fourth novel, The World Is Empty, was published in February 2016 and is something different. It is a semi-autobiographical, romantic novel that analyses social and political discrimination, religious bigotry, and financial snobbery in a 1960’s small town. It also shows how depression and fortuity can change peoples’ destinies in a lifetime.
Prohibited Portrait, Bob’s fifth novel, will be published in June 2019. A body is washed ashore, badly cut after hitting rocks. Police inquiries suggest he knew he might be killed. A letter left for the police reveals he was a special agent working for President de Gaulle. A safe is found that contains a decorated wooden block. Covered with Arabic writing in mother-of-pearl, it translates as Mohammed is the Prophet of Allah. How can the block be opened? When it is realised the tablet is The Great Seal of the Caliphs, its value is priceless. However, its possession is so dangerous that it could unleash a war between rival factions of Islam, for it contains the only portrait of the Prophet Mohammed. It had been painted to be carried by his daughter, Fatima, at his funeral in 632. The book can be pre-ordered on-line at Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles, W H Smith’s or at any bookshop, or on Book Guild.
Talks by Bob Kermeen
Bob gives illustrated talks on his books, but also:
1. Mesopotamia to World War 1.
Civilisation began with the Sumerians who invented handwriting around 3,000BC. Then the Babylonians advanced civilisation with mathematics. The talk outlines the rule of the Persians, Alexander the Great and his generals, the Byzantines, the Syrian Caliphs, the Mongols and the Ottomans. It finally concentrates on WW1 in the Middle East, the Balfour Declaration and the Sykes-Picot agreement.
2. Iraq post-WW1 to Saddam Hussein.
The creation of Iraq at the San Remo conference in 1920, when the British were given a 25 year mandate by the League of Nations, begins the story of Faisal’s reign in ‘The Kingdom of Iraq’. WW2, developments in other Middle Eastern countries that affected Iraq such as the rise of Colonel Nasser in Egypt, the Mossadeq Affair in Iran, and the nationalisation of the Suez Canal are covered. The assassination of Faisal 2nd led to ‘The Republic of Iraq’, the rise of the Ba’ath Party and Saddam Hussein.
3. Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction,
Fact or Fiction? In 2003 Bush and Blair went to war to remove Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction that Blair claimed could be activated at 45 minutes notice. The weapons were never found and it became clear that the real reason was to implement regime change. The talk covers: what are WMDs, their development, how did Iraq acquire them, why were they never found and what is their future.
4. Soraya – Empress of Persia.
‘Queen’ Soraya was the Princess Diana of her time – she was the world’s most photographed woman, chased by the paparazzi wherever she went. Divorced by the Shah of Iran in 1958 because she couldn’t have children, the talk covers her background, her wedding, the consequences of the Mossadeq affair and life after her divorce.
5. Who Killed Dr Kelly?
In 2003 the government was embarrassed when the BBC claimed the dossier for going to war against Iraq had been sexed up; the 45 minutes assertion had been added to strengthen the case against the advice of the intelligence services. The government leaked that the source was Dr David Kelly, a world leading expert on biological weapons. When found dead on Harrowdown Hill near his home a few days later, the government acted swiftly to set up the Hutton Inquiry that concluded Dr Kelly had committed suicide by cutting his wrist after taking coproxamol tablets. The talk covers the conflicting evidence, asks why someone should want him dead, who are the possible suspects and offers a plausible explanation.
6. The life of Gertrude Bell
Gertrude was recently nominated in the BBC series, ICON, as one of the four greatest explorers of the 20th Century. And yet, fewer than 2% of the British population have ever heard of her exploits in Saudi Arabia before World War One. The first woman to gain a First Class Honours Degree at Oxford University, have an Alpine mountain, Gertrudsplitz (>13,000ft) named after her, fluent in Arabic, Persian and several European languages, she mapped Saudi Arabia, and sought out the pro-British tribes to help plan the Allied advance into the Ottoman Empire. As Britain’s Oriental Secretary, she drew the maps of today’s Middle East and helped create the States of Iraq and Transjordan.