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Cattistock calls
in at Stroke City
win court
VETERANS who say they have
suffered ill health as a result of
attending British nuclear weapons
latter stages of a circumnavigation
tests in the 1950s have won an
of Great Britain.
important ruling in their battle for
And one of the visits which
compensation from the Ministry
punctuated her clockwise progress
of Defence.
was at Stroke City, in Northern
The MOD had argued that the
cases should be struck out as
Stroke City may be better known
either time-barred or for having no
to some of you as Londonderry,
reasonable prospect of success.
while to others the preference is
But in a hearing at the Queen’s
links with
for Derry.
Bench Division of the High Court,
Stroke City is a tongue-in-cheek
Mr Justice Foskett decided, on the
compromise for local sensibilities,
basis of ten ‘lead’ or test cases,
that a group action covering more
playing on the ‘Londonderry/
Derry’ conundrum.
than 1,000 men could proceed
Whatever the name, the
to claim compensation from the
welcome extended to Cattistock
MOD for the injuries and illnesses
they say they have suffered as a
A SPELL alongside in the
and her sailors was warm, with a
result of being exposed to ionising
UK for Type 22 frigate HMS
busy programme keeping them
radiation while witnessing nuclear
Chatham allowed her ship’s
on their toes throughout the five-
tests in Australia and islands in
company some time to catch up
day visit.
the Pacific.
with affiliated organisations.
The Hunt-class ship emerged
The judge noted that taking
Sailors were pleased to have the
from a maintenance period in
the state of knowledge into
opportunity to meet the Mayor
May, and was quickly off on her
consideration, five of the ten cases
of Medway, Cllr David Royle,
travels, making her way along the
would be time-barred, but that
and representatives of the Army
South Coast to Torbay in time for
the necessary discretion should be
Air Corps, the Merchant Taylors’
the D-Day commemorations.
applied as allowed in section 33 of
Company, Chatham Royal Naval
The chances for members of the
the Limitation Act 1980.
Association, Men of Kent and
public to visit were limited by the
This ruling does not have any
Kentish Men, Prior Park CCF
fact that the ship was anchored off
bearing on any future claims for
and 5th Medway Cub Scouts.
the breakwater.
compensation and the relevant
Commanding Officer Cdr
Then it was off to Devonport
facts have yet to be tested – this
Simon Huntington said: “This for a pitstop before steaming north
● HMS Cattistock beneath the Foyle bridge at Madams Bank Picture: Martin McKeown (
decision simply allows such a
has been a great opportunity for her visit to Northern Ireland.
claim to proceed, and another
for us to spend some time with Navigating Officer Lt Edward
said it had been interesting sailing
court would decide on the merits
our affiliates and to demonstrate Phillips said the journey would put
in past the sites of the old Naval
of such a claim.
to them, through the quality of the ship in the public eye at several
installations, from where ships had
Of the 1,011 cases in the group
our sailors and the challenging points, but that there would also
sailed to escort Atlantic convoys.
action, 196 refer to Royal Navy
duties that they perform the be trials and exercises on the Clyde
Lt Cdr Morgan welcomed the
personnel, 232 to Army and 266
importance of the Royal Navy’s and the Forth as she works up
Mayor of Derry City Council, Cllr
to RAF.
role in defending the UK and its towards her next deployment.
Paul Fleming, on board, as well as
A number of claims are now
interests worldwide.” The visit to Londonderry
other local dignitaries, while the
being pursued by descendants of
In addition to meeting the allowed her to fly the White Ensign
ship was invited to send groups to
men who have died.
captain and members of the during Foyle Days, a celebration of
a number of civic receptions.
The group claim also includes
ship’s company, guests were water activities along the river and
Three members of his ship’s
briefed on Chatham’s activities lough, and the ship proved one
company hail from the north
almost 200 Fijians and 125 New
and spent some time finding out of the highlights of the weekend,
of Ireland, and all took the
about the Senior Service. with more than 900 people going
opportunity to invite their family
Mr Justice Foskett stated that
The day culminated in a on board to satisfy their curiosity.
on board or to visit them at home.
he hoped both sides could reach a
wardroom mess dinner, hosted by Her ship’s company also
As Navy News went to press
settlement out of court rather than
the frigate’s officers. supported the RNA Conference
Cattistock was due in Chatham
the issue going to trial.
Cllr Royle said: “I was very (see p31) and the rededication
for Armed Forces Day before
Following the ruling, Doug
pleased to visit HMS Chatham of the Derry-Newfie Bell, which
returning home to Portsmouth.
Hern, litigation secretary of the
for Affiliates Day and enjoyed commemorates Londonderry’s
British Nuclear Test Veterans
having the opportunity to crucial role as an escort ship base
Association (BNTVA), said: “The
● Unusually good weather in
tour the ship and witness the in World War 2. the Irish Sea allowed some of
judgment given by Mr Justice
excellent presentations and The minehunter’s Commanding the ship’s company to do fi tness
Foskett is the opening of a door
demonstrations.” Officer, Lt Cdr David Morgan, circuits on deck
to justice.”
He added: “It’s absolutely
brilliant news – we’ve waited a
Ship proves her worth on hometown visit
long time for this.
“I’m just sorry that a lot of
my friends and colleagues, who
witnessed the same events as I did
in the 1950s, did not survive long
A GULF-bound team of sailors The Hunt-class ship berthed invited Commanding Officer enough to see this day.
found time in their schedule to in Hartlepool to allow the sailors Lt Cdr Charles Maynard and “We are now hoping the
take their ship ‘home’ before they a home-town run in the village members of his ship’s company Government will meet us across
head east. of Hurworth-on-Tees, and to to visit, and the sailors spent some a table, rather than dragging it on
MCM2 Crew 5 – motto pay a visit to their namesake the
time telling pupils and staff what through the courts.
Five star: Simply the Best – are Hurworth Hunt.
the ship has been up to and her “But, make no mistake, this is a
preparing to deploy to the Gulf While in Hartlepool the
plans for the future. landmark victory for veterans.
this summer. minehunter welcomed the public
The youngsters were keen to “We hope that the powers that
But first they took the chance to on board, as well as inviting Sea
know whether the sailors would see be do not force us into a long,
sail HMS Hurworth to the north- Cadet units and Sea Scout troops
any pirates while away from home, protracted litigation, but resolve
east of England, the first such visit to take a look around.
and will keep in touch through this out of court before more of
in three years. Hurworth Primary School
the internet and through more the veterans have passed away, as
traditional methods – postcards. have many since the court case
Some of the ship’s company first started three years ago.”
went to one of Hurworth’s
affiliated charities, Rockcliffe
Court residential care home, where Arboretum
they carried out some hard labour
in the gardens, including painting
the bandstand and various items scoops
of garden furniture.
They also took the time to meet
staff and residents. top award
Another party visited the
kennels of the local hunt, where
LAND restoration at the
they met more than 40 working National Memorial Arboretum
dogs and then were introduced in Staffordshire has scooped a
to the next generation – and such national award.
was the impression they made Lafarge Aggregates, which
that the Master of the Hunt had leases the former sand and
to make sure none of the young gravel workings at Alrewas to the
puppies went back with the sailors Arboretum for a peppercorn rent,
in the form of a ship’s mascot. and the Arboretum itself were
The hunt, which dates back to awarded the Mineral Products
the 18th century, was presented Association’s Cooper-Heyman
with a new White Ensign, to be Cup, which marks out restoration
displayed at hunt meetings, and
projects of an exceptional
in return the ship was given a
photographic recreation of a 19th
The 150-acre site recently
century oil painting of the hunt.
announced plans to transform
Crew 5 will return to HMS
itself into a world-class centre
Hurworth in the New Year after
for remembrance, and already
their deployment, and hope to mark
considers itself to be the main
that return with a parade through
focus for remembrance outside
the County Durham village.
More than 50,000 trees have
been planted at the Arboretum, ● CPO Sharkey Ward meets one
of the eight-week-old puppies at helping to create a much-admired
the Hurworth Hounds kennels wooded parkland.
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