Robert’s interesting tale to tell

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IN the early 1950s the British Government decided they needed to keep up with the rest of the nuclear powers, the “Cold War” was upon us.

To cut a long story short, a small coral tropical island in the South Pacific known as Christmas Island became the venue for the nuclear weapons testing and Operation Grapple began.

Grapple was a joint operations venture called Task Force Grapple consisting of the Army (mainly Royal Engineers - the Sappers) supported by back up units like the REME, Signals, Transport and Supply and the RAF and Navy. The vast majority of which were National servicemen.

I was in the RE’s building roads, the airfield and jobs for the AWRE (Atomic Weapons Research Establishments) plus civil and construction work.

I, along with others, witnessed one of the biggest ‘H’ bombs Grapples Y and Z.

We had no protection from the radiation and have been fighting for years for compensation from the MOD for the maladies we believe radiation caused.

The history of the nuclear tests are well documented so I’ll leave it there. If anybody would like to ghost write my story I have an interesting tale to tell.

ROBERT HARVEY

March