Page last updated at 20:26 GMT, Tuesday, 17 July 2007 21:26 UK

Veteran's plea over weapons tests

Wilf Hall
Wilf Hall is seeking an apology

A war veteran from Nottinghamshire has asked for an apology from the Government over chemical weapons testing during World War II.

Wilf Hall, 89, of Gedling, said he was used as a human guinea pig at the Porton Down defence facility, Wilts.

In his early 20s he had chemical weapons such as mustard gas tested on him over a 10-week period.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said there was no official record of Mr Hall at Porton Down.

In a statement the MoD said: "So far as this case is concerned, we have received a letter of claim from the Porton Down veterans.

"Due to ongoing legal litigation, we cannot comment on it. Where there is a legal liability to pay compensation we do so."

Wilfred Hall as a young man
Mr Hall blames his bronchitis on his experiences at Porton Down

Mr Hall recalled the testing, saying he had no idea what was going to happen to him.

He said he thought he and his colleagues were being used to test respirators.

"They took us into the gas chamber and locked us in, and then they set the canisters off. There were some lads who were flat out on the floor - they'd fainted. My chest felt as though it was splitting in two."

He said he never discussed the matter with his late wife, but he blamed the testing on his bronchitis and the couple's inability to have children.

video and audio news
Wilf Hall talks about his time at Porton Down

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