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In remembrance of those who did not make it this far and in support of those who have

CAMPAIGN The Journal of the BNTVA Registered Charity Number 1131134 TM

Recognition Campaign & Conference 2013 Special Edition

Winter 2013


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BNTVA 2013 Conference & A.G.M. The Britannia Hotel, Fairfax St, Coventry, West Midlands CV1 5RP


Between 24th and 26th May 2013 A full range of events and entertainment are being provided making this years event the biggest we have organised. EnSuite Accommodation - Quality Live Entertainment – All Meals Inclusive – Great Location in the centre of this Historic Midlands City – Easy Access to All Transport Links – Walking Distance to Shops and Tourist Attractions.

Gala Dinner with Guests of Honour Coach Trip to the NMA – See Our New Memorial & Many Other Activities Formal Notice

Under section 10 of the Constitution notice is hereby given that the 2013 Annual General Meeting will be held at 11:00 hours on Saturday the 25th May at the Conference venue – All Motions for discussion must be submitted in writing to the BNTVA. BM5657, London, WC1N 3XX. No later than Saturday the 4th of May 2013.

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Britannia Hotel Coventry Fairfax St, Coventry, CV1 5RP

Tel: 0871 221 0191

Directions From the Motorway - South When on the M3 leave at Junction 9 and at the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A34 and at the next roundabout take the 1st exit and join with the M40. At the roundabout take the 4th exit onto the A46. At the next roundabout take the 1st exit to merge onto the A44114 at the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A4053, follow the signs for Coventry City Centre which will bring you onto the Coventry Ring Road. Leave the Ring Road at Junction 2 and follow signs for Coventry Cathedral. This will bring you to the front of the Britannia Coventry Hotel. From the Motorway - North When on the M1 branch left to join the M6, then leave the M6 at Junction 2 and at the roundabout leave via the 2nd exit to take you onto the A4600, follow the signs to Coventry Ring Road. Leave the Ring Road at Junction 2 and follow signs for Coventry Cathedral. This will bring you to the front of the Britannia Coventry Hotel. From Birmingham International Airport Leave Birmingham Airport to join the A45, branch left to join the A45 then at the first

roundabout take the 2nd exit to join with the A4114. At the next roundabout take the 3rd exit onto the A4114. At the next roundabout take the 2nd exit, continue on A4114 to join the Coventry Ring Road. When on the Coventry Ring Road leave at Junction 2 and follow the signs for Coventry Cathedral and this will bring you to the front of Britannia Coventry Hotel. Approximate cost for in a Taxi = ÂŁ28.00 From Coventry Train Station Leave the train station and take the first left hand turn. When at the roundabout take the 2nd exit to join with Coventry Ring Road. Keep going straight until you come to the next roundabout with the Royal Mail sorting office on the left hand side and take the 2nd exit. Leave at Junction 2 the first junction you come to and keep in the left hand lane. Follow the signs to Coventry Cathedral and this will bring you to the front of the Britannia Coventry Hotel. Approximate Cost in Taxi - ÂŁ6.00. From the Bus Station The Bus Station is opposite the hotel and walking will take you a couple of minutes.


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The City of Coventry - A Visitors Guide With a population of over 300,000 people, Coventry is the 11th largest city in the UK and famous for its three spires, ribbon industry, watchmaking, motor manufacturing, innovative technologies, world stage events and excellent transport links. Coventry sits within a two hour drive of 70% of the population of England. Surrounded by breathtaking Warwickshire countryside, Coventry’s city centre provides a perfect contrast to the rural suburbs of leafy Kenilworth, Warwick, Rugby and Stratford-upon-Avon. With free attractions such as the famous Coventry Transport Museum, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and Priory Undercrofts, the city has much to offer. A visit wouldn’t be complete without entering the Medieaval ruins of Coventry Cathedral, discovering a wealth of exciting history for all ages. Coventry Cathedral is in fact two buildings that lie at the very heart of the city of Coventry. The Ruins of the ‘old Cathedral’ are the remains of a mediaeval parish church, consecrated to be the Cathedral of the new Diocese of Coventry in 1918. In less than 20 years, this building would be destroyed by enemy air attack in the Second World War. Rather than sweeping away the ruins or rebuilding a replica of the former church, inspired by the message of Christ for reconciliation, the then leaders of the Cathedral Community took

the courageous step to build a new Cathedral and preserve the remains of the old Cathedral as a moving reminder of the folly and waste of war. From that point, Coventry Cathedral became the inspiration for a ministry of peace and reconciliation that has reached out across the entire world. Coventry Transport Museum the birthplace of the British cycle and motor industry. Discover the fascinating story behind the development of road transport from the earliest cycles to the fastest cars on earth. With thrills, nostalgia, inspiration and a little bit of education, join us on a surprising and emotional journey through 150 years of innovation and find out about the people who made it happen. The Museum’s unique collection has been ‘designated’ as a collection of national importance. So with over 240 cars, commercial vehicles and buses, 94 motorcycles, 200 cycles, 25,000 models and around 1 million archive and ephemera items, you are sure to have a Great Day Out at one of the Midlands’ best attractions.

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The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum is named after Sir Alfred Herbert, a local industrialist who founded Alfred Herbert Limited, at one time the world’s largest machine toolmaking company. Providing that perfect venue for the people of Coventry and visitors to the City to meet, greet, celebrate and explore their cultural and creative past, present and futures, the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum is one of Coventry’s most important locations. Presenting a wealth of historic knowledge, unique exhibitions, local events and doubling up as an exciting educational resource, the Herbert continues to provide an outstanding service to locals, visitors and the community. Coventry Shopping Just 5 minutes walk from the main city centre, Central Six offers a huge variety of National branded stores, outlets and chains, along with easy parking, fast food restaurants and extended opening hours. Along with the likes of Hobbycraft, Boots and TK Max, Central Six also provides shoppers with the likes of Next, Outfit, Mothercare, Sports Direct, American Golf, JJB and Brantano. With something for everyone, you can also grab a bite to eat with the nearby Burger King, and catch the local train from the station which is just a few minutes walk.

Coombe Country Park offers a wide range of facilities including a Visitor Centre with Discovery Centre, History room, information desk, Heron Table Restaurant and gift shop. Outside in the park, Coombe has one of Warwickshire’s largest heronries easily viewed from the park’s large accessible bird hide. Coombe also has a climbing forest and children’s play areas, formal gardens, lakeside walks, historical trails, premier coarse fishing, exciting events and activities and extensive educational programmes. War Memorial Park is Coventry’s premier green space and attracts around 400,000 visitors from all over the city and further beyond every year. Many come to enjoy a casual visit, while others come to take part in some of the many special events that take place throughout the year. Providing the perfect backdrop to the annual Godiva Festival, the park is a superb example of recreational excellence. Along with the newly developed tennis courts, play area and football pitches, War Memorial Park also provides enthusiastic walkers with a perfect location to relax and unwind.



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The National Memorial Arboretum This year’s Conference package includes a unique excursion to the National Memorial Arboretum. Only a short coach journey north of Coventry one of the most amazing places you can visit.

The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance; a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country. It is a living and lasting memorial. Commemorating and celebrating those who have given their lives in the service of their country, all who have served and suffered as a result of conflict, and others who, for specific or appropriate reasons, are remembered here. The Arboretum is a charity run by staff and volunteers, and part of The Royal British Legion family. They receive around 300,000 visitors a year, including Service personnel, veterans, students of all ages, and groups.

There are over 200 special events held there each year. The Act of Remembrance, including a Silence, is observed daily in the Millennium Chapel. The Arboretum is home to the striking Armed Forces Memorial which commemorates those who have been killed on duty or as a result of terrorism from the end of the Second World War to the current conflict in Afghanistan. The BNTVA National Memorial is also located at the Arboretum and the special excursion from this year’s Conference will give many more members the opportunity to visit the new memorial and remember their friends and loved ones.

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Letters To Members of Parliament In our last magazine we asked members to complete a letter to their MP’s in support of the Recognition Campaign. Many of you have done this but some have wondered why and what happens next? As Chairperson please accept my personal apologies; the article I prepared for the magazine should have addressed these points. Once we had formulated the campaign last year we were represented at each of the three main political party conferences where our call for recognition was made to many MP’s and party activists. This commenced the general awareness campaign within Parliament.   Since then working with Cratus Communications and our Patron John Baron, every MP has been written to and passed the key information about our Recognition Campaign. By asking members to write to their MP’s we will be completing the awareness triangle giving the politicians the motivation, from you the public they directly represent, to get involved with John in taking our campaign through Parliament. On Thursday 17th January 2013 John made an excellent speech to Parliament officially launching our campaign, he was supported by a number of MP’s.  

Madeline Moon (MP for Bridgend) said: I am very pleased to hear the hon. Gentlemen’s speech and endorse every word he has spoken. I am a member of the group that he has set up and I, too, have been horrified to hear from my constituents about the effects on grandchildren as a result of the tests in which the veterans took part. He is absolutely right: we must not forget the part that those veterans and their families continue to play. This shows just how effective getting those letters out has been.



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We are an organisation fully supportive of free speech; All we ask is you keep two simple things in mind: 

The next stage will be meeting with your MP’s - This is simple and straightforward, read the Recognition Campaign Briefing (you will find it on our website and also in this magazine) it will give you all the key facts.   In your own words; tell them your experiences of the Tests and life since. You may have shared this many times in the past but really this is the most powerful tool we have.  Over the past year I have sat in meetings and observed the impact of veterans talking about their experiences, this impact should not be underestimated it is considerable and a very powerful tool. Talk to your MP about your particular problems, if you are lucky not to have had any health problems what about the anguish of not knowing? What can’t you say?  Well as far as the BNTVA are concerned you can say anything you want to!

• First please make it clear you are speaking to your MP as an individual who is a veteran of the Tests or a family member thereof not as a spokesperson for the BNTVA - if they want further information on the BNTVA or the Recognition Campaign they should contact John Baron MP or the BNTVA direct on • Secondly please be civil and professional, in the past some members have vented their frustration on MP’s and all this does is build barriers. Please remember We need to get the message across to them, We need them to support us, They don’t need us to support them. At the end of the day the majority of MP’s are normal people doing a job where they try to better the lives of their constituents and wider community regardless of the party they stood for.  If you have any further questions please email me For the latest news of the Recognition Campaign please visit

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John Baron MP launches next stage of British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Campaign MP Highlights contribution of veterans On Thursday 17th January 2013, in the House of Commons, during a debate on the nuclear deterrent, John Baron MP highlighted the debt of gratitude the country owes our nuclear test veterans, who in the 1950s and 1960s were instrumental to the creation of the British nuclear deterrent. John is Patron of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association (BNTVA), and is campaigning for official recognition of their crucial role at the dawn of the nuclear age. In the debate, John said, “The test veterans’ service was quite unique. When these men took part, the science was largely unknown. Pre-test precautions were primitive and inadequate, and failed to fully

protect individuals from the effects of heat, blast shock and ionizing radiation. Many veterans believe their health was adversely affected by these tests.” “The BNTVA and I recently started a new campaign to establish a Benevolent Fund to support veterans and their descendents, and to obtain official recognition from the Prime Minister of our debt to them. The campaign is warranted because our nuclear test veterans are poorly treated when compared to other countries.” John said afterwards, “Today marks the beginning of our recognition campaign for British Nuclear Test Veterans. The campaign is supported by a good number of MPs, and we are hopeful we can secure a worthy settlement for these brave men.” The full account of John’s speech can be read on Hansard by visiting:

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BNTVA Contact Details

Registered Charity Number 1131134

This is the only correspondence address and telephone number for the Association. BNTVA BM 5657 LONDON WC1N 3XX

24 Hour Call Back Service

0208 144 3080

National Chairman Nigel Heaps Email Skype: nigel.heaps Tel: 0780 7268016 Blackberry message ID 25DFA01C

Operations Manager Jeff Liddiatt Email Tel: 0780 7268041 Blackberry message ID 25F9CC08

Financial Controller Ian Greenhalgh LLB Email

Chaplain The Very Revd Nicholas Frayling BA, LLD Dean of Chichester Email

London Events Organiser & Trustee Don James Email

Archive Administrator & Trustee Doug Hern Email

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Become a Trustee

– Have you got what we need? If you feel you wish to become a trustee and have something to offer the BNTVA then please request an application package from the Chairman, Nigel Heaps. All applications will be considered fully and fairly by the Board of Trustees. Please remember that in 2013 all the trustees appointed when the Association became Charity will step down. Some of these trustees will be retiring from the board permanently. The time is NOW for new trustees to step forward so, if you are interested or you think you know someone who would make a good trustee please contact the Chairman.

Trustee Lisa Bainbridge

Trustee Ian Hall



Trustee Stephen Evans

Trustee and Campaign Editor Steve Bexon



Trustee Fred Stellard Email

Media Representative Email

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This is the text of the factsheet distributed to all MP’s at the beginning of the Campaign. Between 1952 and 1967, in the largest Tri-Service operation since the D-Day landings, over 20,000 servicemen participated in British Nuclear Weapons Tests. The development of these superweapons bought our place at the world superpower table.  The cost in human terms has never been fully calculated nor appreciated, in the blinding light of the bombs a shadow was cast across the lives of so many people. The 2011 British Nuclear Test Veterans Health Needs Audit shows that daunting shadow still hangs over the Veterans.  75% were either certain or thought it possible the tests had damaged their health.  Ultimately 84% of veterans believe their main health condition was caused by radiation.  A recently released study by Jean-Louis Valatx of 1800 French Nuclear Veterans shows 22.8% of their children with

chronic illness and 13.4% of children with congenital anomalies. In the UK 35% of Nuclear Test Veterans suffer from depression or anxiety. Almost every veteran has gone through their lives wondering if each new condition they develop is because of the tests, looking at the illness and mortality of their children and asking is it because of the tests.  Above all, the feeling of dread every time one of their descendents has a child.  This is the human cost above and beyond the suffering of physical conditions, which may or may not have been caused by the tests.  This is the very real, very tangible mental anguish directly attributable to the tests that our veterans have faced every day since their return. Litigation action by other veterans representatives has seen concentration on exposure and liability paraded through our courts without result.

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At the same time the BNTVA has watched our veteran members live daily with physical pain and mental anguish. The time is now for the Nation to act and recognise the debt owed to its citizens for their service in unique and difficult conditions.  We believe the reasonable and realistic response of the Nation should be made in three areas: • Official recognition by the Prime Minister of the contribution to the development of the British nuclear deterrent and the resulting significant contribution to world peace made possible by the service achievements of our Nuclear Test Veterans. • The placing of £25 million in a Benevolent Fund in recognition of service and the subsequent years of anxiety experienced by the Veterans, this fund will be jointly administered by the BNTVA and other Ex-Service organisations to alleviate need, help with treatment, pay for care and enhance wellbeing for those Veterans and their descendents in need. • The formal recognition by the Nation of the contribution and the uniqueness of service conditions experienced in the form of a separate medal or award available to be bestowed on any British Service Veteran who participated in the British nuclear test programme.

Veterans in the United States receive some £47,800 with a further £47,800 for any secondary attributable illness. Previous Veterans Ministers have stated this is because the USA has no free medical service however all US Service personnel have access to free healthcare provision. Canada pays over £15,200 in addition to other monies from Pensions and Compensation legislation. Canada has a free healthcare service very similar to Britain.  Canadian Veterans are also eligible for this payment when they served at the British Tests alongside our unrecognised Veterans.   The tiny Isle of Man even makes an ex-gratia tax free payment of £8,000 to any resident who is a Veteran of the British Nuclear Tests.  The sum of £25 million in recognition only represents some £6,000 per surviving Veteran, which in itself is far short of the funds made available to the Veterans of our allies however, with this funding we could make a real difference to the lives of our Veterans and their families, a difference that would let them know that the Nation acknowledges not only their contribution and sacrifice but the continued mental and physical problems they have to live with. Additionally such a fund would serve as a core element of the charitable provision of Education, Research and Support for all matters relating to people who have worked with or alongside radioactive material for the benefit of this Nation.

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Recognition Campaign - The Next Steps John Baron and Cratus Communications will continue to build support for our cause amongst MP’s and the addition of your letters and meetings with MP’s will strengthen the awareness and support in Parliament. The composition of the Commons during this parliament is very conducive to pushing our campaign through given the coalition and the split balance of power, the uncertainty of who will get in at the next election and a number of other factors. All these factors create an environment where individual MP’s (aside from the Government Front Bench) will be free to vote with their conscience on the issue.

As more MP’s flock to our cause we will further increase pressure by hosting a series of events that will enhance public awareness of the issues surrounding our Recognition Campaign and gain us good currency for media exposure. The BNTVA “Shadow of the Bomb” Art Exhibition featured in this magazine is one such example; emphasising the mental anguish of Atomic Veterans, their spouses and descendents.

Your actions will help prick that conscience! For the latest news of the Recognition Campaign please visit

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Raising Awareness – BNTVA “Shadow of the Bomb” Art Exhibition As part of raising public awareness of our Recognition Campaign the BNTVA are working with Cratus Communications to produce an art exhibition. We hope to preview the exhibition in Coventry during our 2013 Conference and open it fully to the public in London during the summer. The Isle of Man based artist Gary Bennett, who we featured in our Summer 2012 Magazine and Midlands watercolour artist Steve Elliott are contributing the bulk of the BNTVA orientated pieces.

Your Help Needed

Patrol Resting

We also want to feature works from our members, so if you have an artistic talent or you may even have sketches or paintings created during the Tests and you would like to contribute to this project please send an email to (if possible send a scan of some of your work). Angel and the Fallen

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Project 2013 - Lord Mayors Show It is with some regret that we announce the original focus of Project 2013 has had to be abandoned due to numerous problems, therefore we will not be having a float at the Lord Mayors Show. We don’t like having to back track at the BNTVA and thankfully the opportunity to press forward with a great awareness raising project in 2013 came along in the shape of an Art Exhibition, Titled “Shadow of the Bomb”. The exhibition will feature works from BNTVA members and our friends, with a special emphasis on living with the physical and emotional consequences of being a veteran or descendent. This event is set to have even greater publicity potential for raising public awareness the problems our Veterans and families have faced living in the “Shadow of the Bomb”.

Heritage Lottery Funding Whilst we continue to contribute to the Royal British Legion Schools Learning Pack we have realised the resource relating to Atomic Veterans could be greatly expanded and distributed in interactive disk format to a much wider audience than the RBL package currently addresses. Following an initiative by Trustee Doug Hern, along with a group of fellow Trustees he has been examining the possibility of obtaining Heritage Lottery Funding to place our resource in all Schools, Colleges, Universities, Libraries and relevant Museums across the country. If we can get this project through it will be a major coup in getting our story out to a huge section of the population. There is also the possibility of a tie in with our French colleagues in AVEN to make the resource multi lingual and incorporate all their material to take it throughout Europe.

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Copies of the Constitution The current version of the BNTVA Constitution is available from the links on our website where you can also download and print your personal copies. Any member attending the AGM who wishes a hard copy of the Constitution may order one for collection at the event by emailing The cost of £1.50 will be payable on collection.

Campaign magazine is published by the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association. Editor: Steve Bexon. Next issue copy Deadline 31st March 2013. All contributions for the magazine should be sent to the London address or emailed to BNTVA is not an anti-nuclear or an anti-war association. All opinions,views and quotations do not represent official BNTVA policy and are the sole responsibility of the writer. Photographs and images – © Copyright of owner acknowledged. Campaign cannot guarantee total accuracy for any reproduction of letters / articles / transcripts. BNTVA is a Registered Charity Reg. No 1131134 supporting past and present UK Nuclear Test Combined Service Veterans and their families.

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Ways to pay your annual BNTVA membership subscription Set out below are the methods you can use to pay your membership subscription, due 1st of April each year. By standing order using the personalised standing order form sent out with the Winter Edition of the magazine. By using the BACS system take your cheque or cash into any HSBC branch make out the paying in slip with the following details: HSBC Bank plc 13 Parliament Street York YO1 8XS Sort code: 40-47-31 Account number: 64259351 Account name: British Nuclear Test Veterans Association Amount: ÂŁ15.00

By using your own Internet Banking account make the payment using the details below left.

PayPal payment to:

If you are unable to use any above ways to pay, CHEQUES made out to the BNTVA only, can be sent to the central address. BNTVA BM 5657 London WC1N 3XX

Have we got your correct address details? Can you please check that your correct address and postcode is shown on mailing address labels on any communications that we send to you? If we have the incorrect address (especially postcode) please contact us and let us know the correct details. See the address above for the Association’s contact details.

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BNTVA Shop Window Band 1 items For Get Me Not Lapel Badge New Item Car Badge Blazer Badge BNTVA Lapel Badge Cuff Links Key Fob Tie Clip Trolley Token Bookmark Grapple Tie BNTVA Tie woven BNTVA Tie printed

£3.00 £3.00 £12.00 £2.50 £5.00 £2.00 £3.00 £1.00 £3.00 £9.50 £10.00 £7.50

Band 2 Items Caps Baseball Scarves Fleece Scarves Silk Shirts Small to XXXL

£11.00 £12.00 £13.00 £12.50

Band 3 Item Fleece Small to XXXL Mugs NAVAD & BNTVA

£22.00 £6.50

Band 4 Item Tankard Glass


ALL PRICES PLUS POST AND PACKING Band 1 add £1.00 Band 2 add £3.00 Band 3 add £4.00 Band 4 add £5.00

BNTVA BM 5657 London WC1N 3XX





This important medal is a joint commission 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. Next of kin or direct descendants can also apply. The obverse of the medal depicts the nuclear symbol surrounded by the words 'British Nuclear Weapons Tests in Australia & Pacific' and the reverse dramatically features a detonation cloud and the words 'For Service in Radioactive Areas 1952-1967'. The ribbon is white on the edges representing the blinding white flash that comes before the fireball and then subsides to the fireball which has the reddish fire in the centre and becomes the familiar mushroom shape. An easy care 100% polyester navy blue tie has been tastefully designed with stripes matching the ribbon colours and bears an authenticating label on the reverse. For further information and/or an application form contact Award Productions Ltd, (Dept. NNL) PO Box 300, Shrewsbury SY5 6WP, U.K. Tel: 01952 510053 Fax: 01952 510765 E-mail:

The Australian Nuclear Veterans Association and the British Nuclear Tests Veterans Association are the beneficiaries of this project.


BNTVA Journal  

Special Conference and Recognition Campaign Issue

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