A Gulf War veteran who believed his cancer was caused by exposure to radiation asked in his will for his fears to be investigated.
A number of Gulf War veterans believe they suffer related illness
But a coroner said he could not
link Stephen Childs' death from cancer of the pancreas with his service in the
Middle East and ruled that he died from natural causes.
Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan coroner Lawrence Addicott heard that Mr Childs, 47, who received multiple
inoculations both before and during his service in the Gulf, worked in an area
affected by depleted uranium.
Mr Childs' widow Karen told the inquest that about 50 soldiers who served in
the same area had already died from illnesses related to their Gulf service.
The Army sergeant, of Tydfil Street, Barry, died in November
2000 after chemotherapy failed to stem the spread of the cancer to his liver and
Mrs Childs said her husband's health deteriorated after he returned from the
The inquest heard that her husband looked thinner and unwell on his return
from the conflict and Mr Childs' sweat began to smell of latex.
"He never looked well and was always tired," she said in a statement read to the court.
"He lost his temper over small
issues. He sweated a lot too."
Mr Childs went on to suffer from stomach pains and chest pains and was
diagnosed with heart problems by his GP.
But the diagnosis was later reconsidered and Mr Childs began another round of
treatment for a stomach ulcer.
Doctors eventually decided to carry out a full body scan on Mr Childs after
discovering a blockage in his stomach.
The scan showed a large tumour in the
pancreas which had spread to the liver and adjacent lymph nodes.
'No specific cause'
Pathologist Dr Allen Gibbs told the inquest that scientific papers did not
suggest a link between cancer of the pancreas and depleted uranium.
He said: "We don't have a specific cause of the cancer and we can't say it
was Gulf War syndrome."
Commenting on an examination of Mr Childs' lungs, Dr Gibbs said that he did
not find an abnormal number of particles of uranium, and he did not
find a cause for the latex smell.
Mr Addicott concluded: "It has taken some time to come to this point. Dr
Gibbs has tried to establish a link with uranium but he has not been able to do
He recorded a verdict that Mr Childs died from natural causes.
Mr Childs, who was born in Evesham, Worcestershire, served in the army for 21
years with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers.
He served in Northern
Ireland before leaving for the Gulf in 1991 with the Army's tank transporters.
Mrs Childs tearfully described how her husband asked her in his will to
investigate his belief that depleted uranium was the cause of his fatal
After the hearing, she said: "He went to a Gulf Veterans Association meeting
where everyone was talking about depleted uranium and he wanted me to follow it
She added that she did not believe in Gulf War syndrome and had always
believed her husband died from natural causes.