Reg Simpson was born in 1934 in the small village of Privett in Hampshire, England.
WW2 commenced in September 1939, the family had recently moved to Botley, another Hampshire village near Southampton, England. He was just old enough to know that something called war had broken out. As the years progressed he became fully aware of the results of war. The war in Europe ended on his birthday in May 1945. His schooling completed in 1949, he started his working life training to be a Baker and Confectioner at the local village bakery.
In 1951, enthused by those who defended our country, he enlisted in the Royal Air Force for an eight year term determined to do his bit for King (in those days) and country. He trained as an Armament Fitter specialising in Bomb Disposal and Aircraft Ejection Seats. This period of service took him to various parts of the world including Asia and Australia.
In Asia he was a member of the Far East Air Force Bomb Disposal Team, disposing of Japanese and Allied ordnance from WW2. This frequently necessitated travelling to some exotic and to some not so exotic locations.
During 1956 he volunteered to join 76 Bomber Squadron operating Canberra B6s on radioactive cloud sampling during 'Operation Buffalo' - part of the British Nuclear Weapons Trials at Maralinga in the deserts of South Australia. At the conclusion of the trials he was a team leader on the decontamination of the extremely radioactive aircraft, and as a result was exposed to high levels of ionising radiation during that decontamination period without any real knowledge of the extreme and life-threatening dangers involved.
This decontamination involved steam cleaning and washing down the exteriors of the aircraft with copious quantities of water, until such time that the radiation level was deemed safe. He describes this as being akin to a six hour irradiated shower every day for ten days, dressed only in primitive, and supposedly protective gear consisting of a white non-waterproof one piece hooded cotton coverall, cotton gloves and wellington boots. Within a few minutes of starting work until the end of the shift he was saturated in radioactive water and debris from the aircraft skin.
Despite that radiation hazard he is still here, whereas many of his team colleagues are not, having succumbed to various radiation linked illnesses. Hence his support for the British Nuclear Tests Veterans Association, of which, he is a longstanding member since 1982. He left the RAF at the end of his eight year engagement in December 1959, throwing himself into the wilds and perils of civilisation.
Coming to grips with the perils of civilian life he took a chance with a spell in Insurance and Estate Agency before reverting back to his engineering background, in his words - traipsing about the world at someone else's expense in the Oil business. After he retired he lived and travelled in Canada and United States for 10 years. In 2004 he was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and subsequently had his Prostate removed. In 2010 he returned to UK when he was further diagnosed with Metastatic Prostate Cancer.
He raises funds to help support the British Nuclear Tests Veterans Association in their fight for recognition by the British Governments that personnel may have been injured by radiation during the development and testing of the nuclear weapons that has helped keep the United Kingdom safe. Whilst over the past four decades successive governments appear to have adopted a policy of, 'delay, deny and wait until the veteran dies'. Each shade of government when in opposition vows support for the veterans until they get elected to be in power, they then take up the policy of 'Deny, Delay and wait until they die'. Probably undermined by the Civil Service.
He now passes his time sharing these life stories, so his descendants and you will know what he did in his lifetime.
Those who know him say that he still retains the sense of humour that has aided him so ably during his lifetime, despite his current grumpy views on the modern ways of life, versus life from the times 'when Adam was a boy'.
All proceeds from the sale of Reg's books go directly to the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association. If you are planning a holiday and want a book to read while you are away, look no further.
This is 'DODO' the author's mascot. 'DODO' symbolises the author who is also an 'oldie' but still has all of his faculties and can get his skates on when necessary. He has a wide sense of humour and views life with a jaundiced eye.
The books that are currently available are:
Reg's long journey to the other side of the world and his experiences as a participant in the British Nuclear Tests held at Maralinga, South Australia during September and October 1956.
This book is about childhood memories of growing up during World War 2.
Realistic views on life made by an iconic souvenir from Australia.
Religion and the inter-reactions within the various brands. How religion has affected the life and views of the author from childhood through maturity and into old age.
All books can be purchased via https://www.simpsonsbooks.com/