Operation Grapple

Gerry Wright, a retired Lt Cmd RNZN, who was an AB on HMNZS Pukaki at the time, has published a book "We Were There" ISBN978-0-473-12093-1 covering the British Nuclear Weapons Tests on Christman Island 1957-58
Please contact Gerry on [email protected]
My dad was there, with the RAF, he has some pretty incredible stories about it, a whole bunch of them are going back next year for a reunion and I have asked him to get me a bunch of photos.

Recently I came out of a supermarket to find a couple of guys collecting for some charity for ex servicemen, we got talking and one of the guys turned out to be a member of the Nuclear Monitoring Team at the same time my dad was there, he told me how they vetoed one of the tests on safety grounds and were sent to Australia to do some checks at Woomera, when they got back they found the test had been done anyway, it had exposed the personnel to dangerous radiation levels. He told me about walking across a field with his gieger counter and getting horrendous readings, then he said "this is how high the grass was." he lifted both trouser legs and his skin was bright purple from his knees down.

He asked me about my Dad, I am forbidden by him to mention what effect it had on him, he says they knew the risks, but then this guy asked me an odd thing, he asked if me or my brothers and sisters had any children with birth defects. The answer was sadly yes and he said "thought so, we are finding the effects skip a generation."

Not nice. BTW, my dad was born and raised in Scarborough, and the guard ship for the Grapple tests was??? One of life's little pointless coincidences.
onions said:
Guardship. Possibly the Narvik.

Semper Strenuissima.
Yes it was. Warrior was the Flag ship, Alert the VIP's private yacht- Messina, Cossack,Salvictor, Cook and the two Kiwi ships Rotoiti and Pukaki.
Cook and the two Kiwi's had difficulty washing off their radioactive contamination as they had wooden decks.
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