Another guinea pig

Letter by Terence Whitehouse, Exeter

ImageI have acquired Peace News at my local CND Peace Shop in Exeter. I was interested in your article entitled ‘Study war lots more’. With the article, next to it, about monsieur Kent, the Catholic priest!

My interest in the said articles is because I am an ex-royal naval (officer’s) steward, with the royal navy from 1965–1968. In 1968, I transferred to the royal marines commandos.

One of the things I did was to volunteer, being remunerated in money, to partake at Porton Down nuclear research centre in Wiltshire. I did, I might say, enjoy my time at the Porton Down establishment, and the tests were very instructive, enabling a military person to know how to combat a nuclear attack and the injuries, the admin to resuscitate wounded patients.

In a practice environment (not for real), I was involved later in the nuclear threat of 1982 with the Argentinian forces, when they had prepared napalm pods to launch with their aircraft onto military ships in the Falklands.

Examples of tests I was involved in, in Porton Down, were atropine injection(s), injected into the thigh to eliminate pain in the event of a soldier being shot in the leg. In another test, a three-inch needle was used to test for nerve readings – the needle was attached to a wireless. I could hear the sound of my nervous system.

There was a test for the Real McCoy, the pellet, which was a minute particle of the Real Thing which was, apparently, administered in the making of World War Two nuclear small bomb dropped over Hiroshima, Japan. The only personnel who could partake in that test had to pass an RAF pilot’s jet aircraft test. I could not take part in that one. That test, the pilot’s test, was worth the most in remuneration £20 plus £40 (old English money then!).

I earned £175.

I enjoyed the wireless test at the doctor’s surgery and the atropine. Strangely, in the incident with the Russian problems in Salisbury, atropine was not mentioned as being administered by the perpetrators.

Porton Down, yes, is an eye-opener and a mind-opener and well worth the volunteering.

I am mentioning these facts to enable you to get a brief insight into the male and female military involved in these actions. I am personally trying to get the sources (peoples) to see the problems with all these developments, that nations imagine they are superpowers!

Man is, literally, out of his/her depth! God has it under control.

Though I am for peace, real true peace is yet to happen.

But in the meantime, as the song lyrics say: we can strive to grasp as much peace. So it is much like the gospel of God’s son, the lord Jesus christ: ‘Peace, my peace, I leave with you’.

God keep you all safe.

Editor response:

Porton Down is known as a research centre for biological and chemical warfare, and 25,000 members of the armed forces are known to have been experimented on there since 1916. In 2008, the ministry of defence paid £8,300 to each of the 369 veterans who survived such tests and who pursued a class action against the government. Incidentally, CND vice-president (and PN columnist) Bruce Kent was honoured by the Catholic church with the title ‘monsignor’, not ‘monsieur’! – ed