The events in this story are true, although the names of the men involved have been changed. The anecdotes may invoke the memories of some of the men that were involved in them and have been included to try and reflect the spirit and feel of the island at that time. My memory was aided by reference to daily letters sent home from Christmas Island during the period November 1961 - November 1962 and from fellow veteran Clelland Barrie.
When British servicemen were observing nuclear tests in the Pacific during the 1950s, the Prime Minister of the time, Sir Anthony Eden, was warned that they risked a lingering death from cancer. His response is reported to have been, 'A pity, but we cannot help it.'