Pinchbeck man to head national group for nuclear test veterans

Pinchbeck man Alan Owen is the chairman elect of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association (BNTVA). ANL-160912-103344001
Pinchbeck man Alan Owen is the chairman elect of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association (BNTVA). ANL-160912-103344001
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A company boss from Pinchbeck is chairman elect of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association (BNTVA).

Alan Owen (45) is the son of a nuclear test veteran, James Owen, who died from heart problems aged 52 in 1994.

Alan believes his father’s service on Christmas Island during Operation Dominic, from September 1961 to October 1962, may not only have accounted for his early death but also left a grim legacy for the family.

Alan’s brother, Gordon, died in 1996 aged 31, also from heart problems, and his sister, Laura (50), was born blind in one eye.

His mum, Brenda, passed away in 2011.

“We don’t know if something was passed to her,” said Alan. “She died of skin cancer.”

Alan will take over as chairman of the BNTVA in May, having joined three years ago.

BNTVA stalwarts Doug Hern and his wife, Sandie, from Moulton, revealed in last week’s Free Press that funding has been made available for vital research at Brunel University in London.

Alan said the university research will focus on whether or not DNA is mutating and whether genetic problems are passed down through families.

He said the BNTVA has many projects ongoing to promote the health and wellbeing of veterans.

Alan heads a company called Icaris, based in Pinchbeck, which develops computer software for not-for-profit companies and charities.

• In April, £25million was allocated from Libor cash to finance an Aged Veterans Fund to alleviate suffering and increase wellbeing. The BNTVA through its Nuclear Community Charity Fund got approval to launch five projects to help the nuclear community, including the Brunel research.