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War pension win a cause for hope with nuke vets

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 13, 2013

Archie Ross - nuclear test veteran

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A SURVIVOR of Britain’s nuclear tests has revealed that he has ‘hope’ that hundreds of veterans will soon be celebrating following a landmark decision.

Archie Ross, of Oak Close, Church Gresley, spoke to the Mail after it was announced that the Ministry of Defence has agreed to pay a war pension to a survivor of the tests, which took place in the 1950s and 60s.

Mr Ross, who has been battling the government for compensation for 30 years, hopes that the ruling could lead to similar decisions for the remaining 3,000 or so veterans.

He told the Mail: “While this is only one case and one person winning, it will hopefully allow the rest of us to go for the Government and gives all hope that we will finally get something in the end.

“I look at it in very simple terms – if they do it for one, they surely have to do it for everyone involved.

“I still think that most of us veterans will die without seeing any money or an apology but children and grandchildren have been impacted by this and they should not have to live their whole lives without any help like we all have.

“It does feel like a never-ending battle but no matter how hard it gets, I and all of us will not give up.”

Mr Ross spoke out after a judge ruled this week that men ordered into the fallout zone were injured by radiation in the 1950s and 60s.

The ruling is the first time UK nuke vets have been awarded money in recognition of their illnesses.

They say radiation left them with cancers, rare illnesses and birth defects in their children.

Their long running battle for compensation has so far been unsuccessful.

After losing a High Court battle, the veterans are still focused on heading to the Court of Appeal with its case.

More than 20,000 men, many of them on National Service, were ordered to witness repeated bomb tests in the South Pacific as British scientists tried to build atomic and hydrogen bombs.

A succession of governments, both Tory and Labour, have denied there was anything wrong with them.

The MoD has always acknowledged a ‘debt of gratitude’ to the veterans but has denied negligence.

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