On Monday 23rd September veterans of the British Nuclear Tests related their stories to Shadow Defence Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Gemma Doyle MP at a fringe event at this year’s Labour Annual Conference.
Nigel Heaps, Chair of the BNTVA (British Nuclear Test Veterans Association), said:
“As the son of a veteran, this campaign means a lot, to secure recognition for the contribution my father made but also to raise awareness of the effect it has had on the children and even grandchildren of many of our veterans. I would like to thank Gemma for taking the time to listen to our stories and learn more about the recognition campaign.”
The event provided an opportunity to meet with veterans and view a selection of artwork from the BNTVA’s exhibition – Shadow of the Bomb. This is part of a series of campaign events raising awareness and support for the veterans’ campaign for recognition.
Despite the nuclear test veterans contribution to the development of Britain’s nuclear deterrant, they have never received official recognition from the nation for the service. Many veterans have since died, many with illnesses that could be linked to exposure to radiation. Those veterans left suffer mental anguish and the fear that they have also been exposed – many of their descendents have unexplained diseases that they believe is as a result of their exposure.