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WA man removed, detonated explosives

AAP logoAAP 16/08/2016 Georgie Moore

Harold Bingham wasn't going to wait for a bomb squad after he found explosives leaking from a box at a remote Western Australian roadhouse.

Instead, the 40-year-old ex-navy explosives expert carried 50 gelignite sticks, detonators and a fuse out of the Nanutarra Roadhouse power station and blew them up safely in 1975.

But it's taken 41 years for Mr Bingham, who died in 2015 aged 80, to receive a Commendation for Brave Conduct because he didn't like talking about it. He just did it.

"[It was] a very volatile and deadly situation," Mr Bingham said, according to his biographer, before he died.

"They [the explosives] were all leaking ... down all the shelves in the cupboard. They were also stored with the safety fuse and detonators."

Because of the people and traffic around the roadhouse, Mr Bingham couldn't afford to wait for a bomb squad.

"If the worst happened, I could never forgive myself," he said.

He never wanted recognition or reward though, his son Shane told AAP.

"Honestly, he'd probably say 'oh OK, eh' [about the commendation]. He was a very modest person. He did a lot in his life," Shane said.

"He did a hell of a lot. He just didn't think they were important, I suppose. They were just something he did."

But Mr Bingham's friend, Tom Keatley, put him up for the award while helping with his memoirs.

"Who amongst us would have risked their life to do what Harry did?" Mr Keatley said.

"I think most of us would have refused and insisted on calling in the bomb squad."

Mr Bingham is one of 76 people, as well as six groups, to receive an Australian Bravery Award from Governor-General Peter Cosgrove for risking their lives to protect others.

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