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National Memorial Arboretum
The National memorial for British Nuclear Test Veterans
The national memorial to the British Nuclear Veterans was one of the first memorials at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas. The culmination of fundraising and planning by long-standing National Executive Member and Trustee Robert ‘Bob’ Smith. The first memorial was erected on the site and dedicated on 15th May 2007. This date was chosen as it was the anniversary of the first British Test at Malden Island in 1957.
On the 3rd of October 2012 a new memorial was unveiled on the site. The date reflects the anniversary of the very first British Test and became National Atomic Veterans Awareness Day (NAVAD), a commemoration of the lives of those lost as a consequence of people working alongside radioactive material for the benefit of our nation NAVAD has been a focal point of remembrance for the British Nuclear Community ever since. The stone for the memorial was selected in December 2011 by Derek Heaps who at that time was the longest serving executive member of the BNTVA. This would be Derek’s final duty for the BNTVA as he sadly passed away in the April of 2012. During the unveiling ceremony, Derek was remembered by Bob Smith for all his work within the community, as Bob unveiled the new memorial he stated:
On the 3rd of October 2018 the original plans for the new memorial created by Jeff Liddiatt and Nigel Heaps (Son of Derek and former Chairman of the BNTVA) came to fruition when the Nuclear Community Charity Fund sponsored extensions depicting the test sites were added to the memorial.
At each of these three alterations to the memorial, a dedication service has been performed by the Very Reverend Nicholas Frayling, Chaplain of the BNTVA. Nicholas has been the longest supporter and champion of the nuclear community in the role of Chaplain which he continues today.
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