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GRIPPING, MOVING AND INSPIRING: the remarkable life of a world-leading expert in chemical weapons defence.

“His work has saved lives and given hope.” – Professor David Nott, bestselling author of War Doctor

For thirty years, Hamish has served and volunteered in conflict zones around the world. As the army’s foremost chemical weapons expert, he built a unique first-hand understanding of how to prevent attacks and train doctors on the frontline – saving countless lives in the process.

After suffering near-death experiences time and again, Hamish discovered he had a ticking time bomb in his own chest: a heart condition called Sudden Death Syndrome that could kill him at any time. But with a new awareness for the fragility of life, he fought harder to make his count.

Despite facing extraordinary personal danger, Hamish has unearthed evidence of multiple chemical attacks in Syria and continues to advise the government at the highest level, including after the 2018 Novichok poisoning in Salisbury. Lifting the lid on Hamish’s unique world of battlefield expertise and humanitarian work, Chemical Warrior is a thrilling story of bravery and compassion.


A gripping account
Daily Mail
Daily Express
A fascinating memoir
Salisbury Journal
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon has been one of my closest comrades on the front line. Completely fearless, he is one of the leading chemical weapons expert on the globe. His training has saved lives and given hope.
Professor David Nott, bestselling author of WAR DOCTOR
A career at the cutting edge of Britain's chemical weapons defence has bequeathed Hamish a deep and heartfelt mission for protecting the innocent victims of such heinous crimes. The risks he has taken to do so are legion, his commitment beyond belief, his inspiration truly humbling. One of my heroes, a word I do not use lightly.
Damien Lewis, bestselling author of APACHE DAWN
This book is where theory meets reality. DBG is one of only a handful of highly experienced practitioners in this field. Of course, the science matters - but its application is what requires our full and undivided attention. DBG shines a light into that dark corner.
Sir Graeme Lamb, former director of UK Special Forces
The international community has generally ignored the plight of the Syrian people, but there are a few bright lights and Hamish is one of the brightest. He is a brilliant humanitarian activist.
Dr Ghanem Tayara, Syrian doctor
Hamish's incredible life story is unlike any account of warfare I've read. His courage on the front line and drive to make a difference in the world is truly inspiring.
Billy Billingham, 'SAS: Who Dares Wins'
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon is an outstanding humanitarian who has fought for justice and accountability for Syrians. He is one of the few heroes in a story of evil, misery and law breaking.
Andrew Mitchell MP
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon's autobiography starts like the opening of a high-octane film
The New European
It is a remarkable story of rising above a truly terrifying experience and making a genuine difference in the world... DBG's writing is clear and enjoyable, making the book a pleasure to read
History of War
Chemical Warrior reads as a fast-paced thriller, each derring-do tale worthy of a book in itself.
Wiltshire Life
A page-turning read, full of urgent questions, from one of the world's finest chemical and biological weapons experts. Compelling and unforgettable.
John Simpson