LABRATS have received information regarding the British Nuclear Veterans medal campaign. This update was received by a veteran after they wrote to their MP asking for their support and to investigate why it has taken so long for the Advisory Military Sub Committee (AMSC) to deliberate the submission.
This response received on the 9th November from the Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence now informs us that the AMSC has made their recommendation and it has now been passed to the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medal for a final decision.
An excerpt from letter says:
"With regards to medallic recognition for nuclear test veterans, the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals (HD Committee) asked the independent Advisory Military Sub-Committee (AMSC) to examine a number of historic military medals claims. The AMSC has reviewed the nuclear test veterans' claims for medallic recognition and has provided its recommendations to the HD Committee in order that it make a final decision on this longstanding issue. The outcome of this consideration is expected soon."
This is a major step in the medal campaign, the AMSC met in February 2020 and had not met collectively and many veterans were upset by this lack of progress. We now know that the AMSC have completed their work and made their recommendations. We now must wait for the HD Committee to make the final decision and for Her Majesty The Queen to approve the medal (if it is recommended).
The campaign has been running for over 2 years since the Daily Mirror, veterans and organisations supporting the claim created an online petition and met with Gavin Williamson in Whitehall. John Hayes MP has championed this claim in Parliament and many other MP's have supported the campaign for recognition in debates within the house and early day motions.
Susie Boniface has written a fantastic website https://damned.mirror.co.uk/
Carol Monaghan MP prepared an Early Day Motion (EDM) on 22nd October 2020, calling on the government to award this medal.
"That this House honours the UK service personnel who participated in the British nuclear testing programme in Australia and the South Pacific from 1952 to 1967; notes that over 20,000 British personnel were present during the atomic tests and were exposed to ionising radiation with little or no personal protective equipment; acknowledges that British nuclear test veterans have long campaigned for the official recognition of their great and ongoing sacrifice, and compensation for health conditions resulting from exposure to the high-levels of ionising radiation; understands that the UK is the only country which performed nuclear tests that is yet to formally recognise the contribution of its nuclear test veterans; and urges the Government to award service medals, without delay, to our nuclear test veterans, whose numbers are now sadly dwindling."
The EDM has been signed by 16 MP's across all parties.
LABRATS has written to the Chairman of the HD Committee asking him to prioritise this decision as it has taken too long to honour these brave servicemen. We hope that the HD Committee will make it's decision soon and that after many decades of waiting, the UK Government officially recognises the nuclear veterans with a medal. We have lost too many of the veterans and it is the right thing to do.
You can continue to support the campaign by writing to your MP, and asking them to support the campaign and ask them to write to the HD Committee Chair demanding a quick decision.
We would like to thank everyone who has worked tirelessly in this campaign, especially Colin Moir whose passion for official recognition led to the creation of the petition and the campaign. The Daily Mirror and Susie Boniface, the MP's and the veteran organisations for for their continued support. To everyone who has written letters, prepared Social Media posts, please continue to highlight this campaign.
We will not rest until this medal is awarded, the work continues on behalf of the British Nuclear Veterans everyday and LABRATS will continue to fight on.