On the 25th of January 2023, the Nuclear Community Charity Fund officially recognised the service that Don James has, and continues, to give to the British Nuclear Test Survivor Community.

The presentation was made to Don by the Veterans Minister, Johnny Mercer MP at the Victory Services Club in London.

‘Don’ grew up in South Wales and like many young men, he left to do his National Service and enlisted in the Corps of the Royal Engineers. Upon completion of his basic training, he was posted to Christmas Island where he witnessed several nuclear tests in the Grapple series. 

After military service, he settled in London, joined the Civil Service and met his French wife Christine who was working in London during her GAP year.

Don joined the BNTVA in its early years and became an active member in the London area supporting Ken Taylor at Branch level. His main duties for many years were organising the BNTVA contingent at the Cenotaph Remembrance Parade, setting out and supervising the BNTVA Garden in the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey. 

Don also served as one of the first trustees when the BNTVA became a charity. He moved his trusteeship to the NCCF when the charity was formed and continued to represent the British Nuclear Community becoming one of the hardest-working trustees of the charity.

As a Standard Bearer Don has attended Veterans’ funerals and represented our community at national and international events both in the UK and in France.

Don is also valued by his friends and colleagues for his uncanny ability to find the best ‘watering holes’ wherever he is billeted.