Loving granddad died because of Navy base work

Grace Hutton after the cut
Pictures by Ellie Pilmoor

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A MAN described by his family as being ‘a loving father’ died as a result of his work on the navy base.

George Roxburgh, from Portchester, died last October from mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by asbestos exposure, which 71-year old George had come into contact with when he worked on the naval base for a private company suspending ceilings.

His death was the subject of an inquest at Portsmouth Guildhall.

His widow, Sandra, said: ‘In the late 60s he was doing suspended ceilings and he was doing wall tiles and wall linings.

‘They used to cut the tiles in rooms and they were given a pint of milk to drink every morning as the dust was so thick.

‘It was just a job. He just got on with it, we didn’t even think about it.’

Mesothelioma can take around 40 years to show symptoms.

George had been married to Sandra for 49 years and they had three children, Vickie, Derek and Derren, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Vickie said: ‘My dad never complained about his illness, even near the end. He was still trying to get into my attic to fix something the week before he passed. He was a fantastic person.’

George was diagnosed with mesothelioma in June 2010.

Deputy Coroner Robert Stone said: ‘He was a healthy man who was very rarely at the doctors... It seems quite clear to me that the death of George Roxburgh was due to an industrial disease.’

Sandra called for the government to do more.

She said: ‘I wish the government would do more to help.

‘The company that my husband worked for no longer exists, it has gone and it doesn’t have insurance so we can’t claim.

‘There has been a solicitor who has been very helpful, they tried hard to find some way of compensation but they can’t as we are too late.’

A Bill is currently going through Parliament which will help around 3,500 civilians mesothelioma sufferers claim compensation as long as they were diagnosed after July 25, 2012.

The second reading of the Mesothelioma Bill is expected to pass through the House of Lords before summer recess.