Updated: Aug 4
The following letter was sent to the Editor of the Campaign magazine (Mr Jeff Liddiatt), but was never published.
A friend, who knows the investigations I have been doing, recently suggested I write an article for the Campaign Magazine. This is my effort, if space is available. I attached the graph, as I feel this will play an important role in understanding the events which led me to investigate.
I was rather dismayed to see another paperwork exercise being conducted into the effects the British Nuclear Tests have left on veterans and their Families. This 'Audit', as it is called, is just another example of the MOD playing for time in the hope that we will have all passed away by the time they are prepared to have a meaningful discussion with the Veterans. The only way to decide the degree of damage done to the Veterans Genetic system is to have the M-Band (FISH) blood test. This is being denied to Veterans as the results would prove beyond any reasonable doubt, damage was caused due to excessive radiation.
Although I have been rather prolific in writing to the authorities, I have neglected to write to the Campaign magazine to disclose my findings. Everyone has had the same opportunity that I have had, rather than sit back and wait for others to take 'The Bull by the Horns' to discover the events of over fifty years ago, I decided to go it alone.
I was with 61 Fd Sqn, 38 CER, Royal Engineers and served at Christmas Island in 1958. I witnessed three hydrogen and two atomic detonations. 61 Fd Sqn were chosen as the 'Human Guinea Pigs' to assist the AWRE in and around the area of Ground Zero. My task was to enter ground zero two hours after detonation and remove all the nuclear debris. I was issued with a radiation Film Badge and a QFI Dosimeter and instructed that if the radiation reached 7R I was to work for a maximum of two hours then get out of the area. The dosimeter only reached 5R (I now realise this was Beta, not Gamma radiation). I was not supplied with any protective clothing and went in wearing my shorts, boots and hat. I, like most of my colleagues were totally naive regarding radiation, you cannot see it, smell it or feel it.
The years passed by and I expected to receive a pension for my Army Service. When I applied they told a pack of lies, altered their stories and changed the goal posts to ensure I was denied my rightful pension for service rendered to my Queen and Country.
Had my pension been granted I would never have embarked on the investigative journey I have been on for the past eight years. During this time I have discovered 70% of the radiation Film Badges issued to my group (the TSFG - Technical Services Forward Group) conveniently went missing and they had no radiation dosage to record against our names, so they gave us the average dose rate of the film badges we wore prior to a nuclear test being carried out. 0.20mSv.
The readings from our personal dosimeters were not recorded. The blood counts taken after the tests are nowhere to be found ( blood count results taken prior to the tests were placed in our Service Records). I also discovered they have no idea the numbers of radiation film badges issued during nuclear testing or the numbers that mysteriously disappeared. The authorities do not know the numbers of people issued with protective clothing, or, the numbers who entered the highly radioactive areas and the period of time spent there. Protective clothing and respirators were reserved for Civilians working for the AWRE and denied to Troops ordered to enter radioactive areas. There was no incident log at the decontamination centre to record if a persons clothing was found to be radioactive when going through the decontamination process. I also discovered the radiation records, blood counts and records of dosimeter readings for Civilians working with the AWRE are still intact. It is only records for Service Personnel that have been lost, destroyed or hidden from sight!
I discovered a graph, showing the decay rate of gamma radiation for both atomic bombs, (Pennant and Burgee) I was involved in. This graph was made by an instrument inside a bunker where I was working at ground zero. (I have attached a copy) I have been trying, for years, to get the readings for the left hand axis of the radiation levels in rads. The last readings I was given (FOI questions) would have meant the maximum radiation of Pennant would have been 1 rad I think everyone will agree, this is ridiculous. Once I obtain the true readings for the graph I will know the exact full body radiation dose I received during my working hours at Ground Zero. This will not include the exposure to the other tests or the radioactive fall out and rain that we were forced to endure.
The MOD tell me I received a total radiation dose of 0.60mSv during my time at Christmas Island and deny my personal dosimeter could have reached 5r. They then have the audacity to tell me, I would have received more radiation had I remained in the UK.
Every person who attended the British nuclear tests are entered into a 'Blue Book', their personal details and bombs witnessed are entered against their names. I asked for a print out of the information they had for me and I found they used the MOD's engineered figures for radiation I had received: 0.60mSv. What did intrigue me, were the initials 'HP' entered against my name. After numerous questions were raised it appears this was the abbreviation used by the AWRE for 'Health Physics' - this indicated they were still interested in my body, not while I am alive, only when I die. After several more questions I have now confirmed my body is entered into the Medical Research programme MR185. I was entered into the programme without my knowledge or consent. The recent Judge Redfern inquiry into the medical research programmes for nuclear workers has indicated Nuclear Test veterans also had body parts removed without permission from the next-of-kin.
I am still raising questions to get a fuller picture. Perhaps you may wish to start asking questions and discover even more atrocities that have not been brought into the open. The more questions asked, the more chance their is of discovering the truth.
I have tried to be as brief as possible, I would probably fill the entire issue of Campaign if I included all of my investigations.
10 years later we are still fighting, but why was the letter never published?