Journal could help Moulton veterans' campaign

A Moulton couple campaigning for justice for veterans of Cold War atomic bomb test sites are cautiously optimistic following the discovery of a journal which appears to support their case.

Douglas and Sandie Hern, of Bell Lane, are working with fellow members of the British Nuclear Test Veterans' Association (BNTVA) to try and earn recognition of the health problems veterans and their families suffered as a result of their service.

The journal of a medical officer on board British warship HMS Diana, has recently been disclosed as part of a legal fight for compensation for veterans in the High Court.

The journal reveals he was concerned that a lack of training and equipment exposed men to an "omniprescent" and "dangerous" risk of radioactive poisoning.

Its concerns go against the Government's view that Cold War tests had no detrimental effect on servicemen's health.

Mr Hern, who served for a year on Christmas Island in the Royal Navy in the 1950s, said the discovery is positive but will only form part of a bigger case needed to earn recognition of veterans' suffering.

He said: "Any bit of information is good news but we can't be too optimistic."

Many servicemen suffered unusual injuries and Mr Hern was told by doctors that he suffered coral poisoning when a normal cut on his leg turned into a dark blue ulcer. The wound was dressed with iodine.

The BNTVA believes more than 250,000 children across four generations have been affected by radiation related diseases and is pressing the Government to help carry out a full study into the effects on families.

Mr Hern also hopes to help raise money for children of Christmas Island, now part of the Republic of Kiribati, who need funds to build a school.

He will help at a fundraising stand at RAF Waddington later in the year and hopes to get donated items to help the cause.

Mr Hern can be contacted on 01406 371134.