The Advisory Military Sub-Committee are still debating the award of an official medal to the British Nuclear Veterans.
The campaign which has been running for over 2 years has been supported by many individuals, MP's, Veteran organisations and the Daily Mirror, spearheaded by Susie Boniface.
In May 2018, the Daily Mirror ran their campaign. Click here to view the article.
An online petition attracted over 10,000 signatures after Al Murray (The Pub Landlord) backed the campaign. A physical petition was also delivered to the Secretary of State for Defence.
An official medal for their operations will be some recognition for Veterans who have waited for over 60 years for recognition.
At present, the only medal that represents the tests that the Nuclear Veterans can wear is a commemorative medal issued by Award Medals. Click here for details.
British Nuclear Weapons Tests Medal - Award Medals
The Nuclear Weapons Tests Commemorative Medal was commissioned between the Australian and British Nuclear Veterans Associations providing medallic recognition to veterans who served in nuclear test site locations and supporting bases in Australia and the Pacific between 1952 and 1967. It is a befitting way to pay tribute to the thousands of British and Commonwealth military and civilian personnel who served their countries, often exposed to the unknown dangers of radiation with little or nothing to protect them.
This medal was purchased by many Veterans after it was promoted by the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association in the 2010 Summer edition of the Campaign magazine.
Wearing of Medals
Many Nuclear Veterans were awarded the General Service Medal for other tours & operations that they were involved in, other members have received other honours, but nothing specifically for the Nuclear testing program.
Many veterans wear other commemorative medals, including a general service medal and volunteer medals. Award Medals have 29 such medals, most produced at the request of, or in conjunction with a veteran group of Charity, raising over £1,000,000 to date from the sale of medals and related products. The Royal British Legion produced a commemorative medal which is often worn by Veterans.
In this country it is customary to wear Commemorative Medals on the left breast below official awards. Commemorative Medals SHOULD NOT be mounted on the same bar as official awards
Medals from a deceased service / ex-service person can also be worn on the right side.
The Royal British Legion website provides the following guidance:
"The medals awarded to a deceased Service / ex-Service person may be worn on the right breast by a near relative (mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, daughter or son)"
A full guide to the wearing of orders, decorations, miniatures and medals with dress other than uniform can be read here.
An early day motion was written by Carol Monaghan and has been supported by 15* other MP's , from all parties. *(as at 28/10/2020)
The time is now to recognise these Nuclear Veterans with an official medal. Nuclear Test Veteran Colin Moir has campaigned tirelessly for a medal and it was his proposal at the All Tests Reunion At Pontins, Weston Super Mare in 2017 that led to the Nationwide campaign.
Colin continues to put pressure on the UK Government via his MP, and received this reply on the 21st October 2020:
Dear Mr Moir,
I attach the latest news that Mr Duguid has received from the Minister on the work of the AMSC.
Rather frustratingly, the Committee has not managed to meet since February, but their work is still being carried out and it seems that a recommendation may be made shortly.
I appreciate that you feel this decision is time critical, given the age of those who may be in line to receive a medal, but I hope you won’t have to wait too much longer.
Yours sincerely, Hilary Dannatt office of David Duguid MP
The British Nuclear Community await the recommendations that are being made shortly. The Veterans deserve this official recognition. By continuing to write to your MP's, you can make a difference, if your MP was one of the fifteen who have signed the Early Day Motion, write and thank them. The British Nuclear Test Veterans Association continue to support the campaign.
John Hayes MP (Patron of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association) is fully supportive of a medal and has campaigned for it's issue within the corridors of Westminster.
LABRATS are in full support of a medal for the Nuclear Veterans, we have written to the AMSC with our support and continue to press the Cabinet Office for a decision to be made, before we lose more Veterans.
In 2020, the world has ratified the Treaty for the Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, let's follow this with a medal for the British Nuclear Veterans.