Spalding area nuclear veteran worked with Call the Midwife producers
A nuclear test veteran worked with producers to create an emotionally charged episode of Call the Midwife.
Doug Hern is among thousands of British servicemen and their families who are paying the price for being exposed to atomic and hydrogen tests in the 1950s.
The story of the nuclear community was brought to the fore in the latest episode of Call the Midwife, which attracts more than 10.47 million viewers.
Sunday’s episode followed the tragic story of a nuclear test veteran and his wife finally achieving their dream of having a child. But Baby Christopher was born without legs and died shortly after his birth.
Doug, who lives in Moulton with wife Sandie, lost his youngest daughter Gill at the age of 13 to a rare form of cancer.
He shared his experiences with the producers of Call the Midwife and said the episode had an effect on him.
He said: “It disturbed me again. When you have something happen to you like we had with our families, the only way to live with it is to block it out.
“When you see it graphically, it brings it back again.”
Doug, who served in the Royal Navy for eight years, witnessed five tests on Christmas Island while in the Royal Navy in the 1950s – one atom bomb and four hydrogen bombs.
While on the island, Doug and his colleagues were repeatedly told that they were not being put in any danger.
But it was not until the 1980s that veterans began to fear that the tests were having an effect on them and their families.
The veterans have also been denied a medal to mark this part of their service.
Doug said: “It is too late for us to have compensation but it would be nice to think that the Government would take the steps to honour the people that put this country where it was during the Cold War.
“When you join the forces you know very well that there is a chance that you may end up on a operation that you won’t come back from.
“But to be taken out and stuck on an island to have nuclear bombs detonated 19 miles from where you were standing. We were literally on nuclear attack.”