Three, Two, one, detonation…” A Royal Navy Nuclear test veteran remembers


The British Nuclear Test Veterans Association (BNTVA) is the Charity for UK Nuclear Veterans and last year they very kindly invited me to the annual conference. I met many veterans including Peter Lambourne and this is his story.

Peter joined the Royal Navy aged 15. He describes those early days including serving on HMS Wizard during the Cod War with Iceland in 1961.

In 1962 Peter was then posted to HMS Resolution which was the codename for the nuclear bomb testing base on Christmas Island.

Peter’s base was less than 20 miles away from where hydrogen bombs were being detonated and he shares his experiences of those detonations.

Many servicemen and islanders who were present at Christmas Island from 1957 to 1962 later reported severe health problems, which they attributed to the nuclear bomb tests – from cancers to organ failure. Whilst Peter’s health has appeared unaffected, his children and grandchildren have suffered from cancers.

In 2023 the UK finally awarded a medal to the nuclear test veterans.

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I am honoured and delighted to welcome Peter Lambourne to our Cold War conversation…

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