Atomic test vets vow to carry on legal fight

Jim Booth lays a wreath on The Copp Memorial on Hayling Island in 2015 

Picture: Malcolm Wells (150701-4775)

Second World War hero who trained with elite Hayling Island unit ‘viciously’ attacked in his own home

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VETERANS of military atomic tests in the 1950s have vowed to carry on their fight for compensation despite losing the latest round of a legal battle for damages.

More than 1,000 veterans want compensation for ill-health they say was caused by the tests and have been battling for two years to launch damages claims against the Ministry of Defence, which denies negligence.

The Supreme Court – the UK’s highest court – yesterday ruled in the MoD’s favour after the latest round of litigation and said the majority of claims could not proceed.

But lawyers for the veterans have stressed some claims may still be able to go ahead.

David Riley, 73, of Locksway Road, Milton, served in the Royal Engineers at Christmas Island in 1958 when five nuclear tests were conducted.

He said: ‘We’re disappointed with the ruling – it’s a political decision. But we’ll carry on fighting for what is right.’