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E&L Life | 18th January 2024
 

Copshaw man served on Christmas Island

 
 
PROUD: Kenneth at home in Newcastleton with his medal
 

“You could see all the bones in our hands as though it was an x-ray

By Gilly Fraser

The bravery of a Newcastleton man has finally been recognised with a specially commissioned medal – nearly seventy years after the event.

In 1958, while serving as an aerial erector with the RAF, 20-year-old Kenneth Robson was sent out to a remote Island in the Pacific Ocean. It was a beautiful, sun-drenched land but his reason for being there was far from idyllic.

Christmas Island was the location chosen by the UK for the testing of nuclear bombs. During his year there, Kenneth was to witness two hydrogen and two atom bombs being exploded. He recalls that two were dropped from barrage balloons.

“It was a bit scary, especially the first one,” he says now with amazing understatement. “We were all taken from the camp to an area called Port London and made to sit down on the coral sand. We had our backs to where the bomb was being dropped and we were told to put our hands over our faces. ………….

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