The literary life of EDWARD JAMES, author,reviewer, occasional poet and former pension adviser to the government of Kyrgyzstan
Most of my work in the RAF was secret, but that was nearly 60 years ago and it has now all been long in the public domain. Nonetheless neither my story about the nerve gas experiments at Porton Down nor about the rehearsal for a nuclear war, which I will post later, have ever been published to date.
Nerve gas is a topical subject but it is not only in the Middle East that people have been exposed to it. Several hundred British servicemen were exposed to it during the experiments at Porton Down, mainly in the 1950’s. My page on The Nerve Gas Boys is the story of one of them.
I have altered the names of the persons concerned, including the name of the airman who died, although his real name is on public record. Although I belonged to the now disbanded Porton Down Veterans’ Association, this story has never been seen by them and was not part of their evidence to the Ministry of Defence. It is simply one man’s experience based on his memory of the events.
The Porton Down volunteers are now commemorated by a tree and plaque at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The text, drafted by the MoD, makes no mention of the man who died.