Gordon MP Richard Thomson has given his backing to a campaign by veterans of the UK’s nuclear testing programme to receive recognition for their service.
Around 22,000 servicemen took part in the UK's 1952-1967 atomic testing and radiation clean-ups in the Pacific and Australia, amid extremely dangerous circumstances, to secure the UK's hydrogen bomb. The service personnel endured blast yields detonated by Britain and the US of up to 7.7 megatons – far bigger than the explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The UK Government have consistently refused requests that the veterans be recognised with a medal for their service in such dangerous and difficult conditions. SNP MP Mr Thomson has given his support to calls for this decision to be reversed.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
“There are currently only around 3-4000 surviving nuclear test veterans. With an average age of 85 years, it’s time the sacrifices made by this group of people – often without the consequences of what they were being asked to do being fully explained to them – were recognised by the UK Government.
“The treatment these personnel received at the time – and subsequently with the refusal to recognise their service – has been appalling and there is an opportunity now for the UK Government to show some contrition. The committee advising those who make the decisions on medals and other military honours needs to just accept that it has got this wrong and do the decent thing.”