Inquiry into Gulf War illnesses - London, July - September 2004
3. Symptoms and effects on veterans

John Nicol, Flight Lieutenant, 12 July 2004.
Out of those 53,000 personnel something of the order of 5,000 to 6,000 have reported illnesses they attribute to service in the Gulf... We think that many veterans suffer in silence for fear of affecting their on‑going service careers.  Over 630 veterans have died since the end of the Gulf conflict.   

Mrs Samantha Thompson, widow of Petty Officer Nigel Thompson, 12 July 2004. 
Out of 85,000 people over the age of 55 you could expect three to be diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease.  From the 56,300 British Gulf War veterans innoculated to go the Gulf eight of them have become diagnosed with MND, four of whom have since died. 

Alex Izett,  Corps of the Royal Engineers, 12 July 2004.
I was found to have the very rare illness in young men called osteoporosis where my bones are actually wasting away.  They are getting worse year to year.  I started off as 25 years old when I was diagnosed with it and I had a bone density of 68 per cent and I now have a bone density of 54 per cent.  I have since then broken my ribs, I have broken my kneecap, I have broken my shoulder and there is practically no chance that my condition is going to get any better.  

Noel Baker, First Battallion, 12 July 2004.
[The] neurologist at my local health authority saw me for ten minutes and said, “It appears like you have Multiple Sclerosis." 

Richard Sharpe, RAF, 12 July 2004.
I found that I was having memory loss and concentration and I was constantly having to write things down... I have had irritable bowel syndrome since; joint problems. 

Russell Walker, RAF, 12 July 2004.
The early symptoms included rapid weight loss, no appetite, disabling stomach cramps which lasted for a few minutes to half an hour, general and prolonged fatigue, lethargy, lack of physical endurance, headaches, feelings of claustrophobia, increase in perspiration, being very irritable and moody, bowel problems that ran from diarrhoea and constipation and vice-versa, lack of concentration and general loss in confidence… 

I have twice the recommended levels of mercury in my blood. Once it has binded itself to the muscle tissues, the body cannot extract it from the muscle because of the binding nature of mercury.  So, the body is constantly being distressed because the immune system is constantly attacking the foreign matter in the body.

Richard Turnbull, RAF, 19 July 2004.
Two of my electricians collapsed with high fever and severe respiratory distress.  They were taken back to the accommodation and left for three days with no medical treatment because the Americans were not to be told what inoculations we had had … I have suffered five heart attacks and I am also suffering unstable angina...  I and a lot of other people found that taking these tablets gave us severe gastric problems, intestinal problems, diarrhoea.  Also people’s moods changed.  You found people becoming very aggressive to one another.

Anwen Humphreys, RAF, 19 July 2004.
I had a recurring sore throat, bad stomach cramps, headaches, night sweats that had a strange sort of smell, and a numb tingling pins and needles sensation in my arms, legs and the back of my head.  I constantly felt tired.  I could not eat properly.  If I put food in my mouth I began to heave or threw up.  I did not have the strength, energy or stamina that I used to have.  

At the end of a day shift I would go to bed for a few hours because I was exhausted.  I began falling asleep on nights.  I would go out for a short run and by the time I came back it felt like I had run a marathon... I left the Air Force in 1992 and since then I have been sacked from eight different jobs... I would actually put myself in dangerous situations where I could be harmed.

Keith Paul, RAF, 19 July 2004.
In 1990 my unit was vaccinated at short notice to deploy to the Gulf to replace units from my base during August 1990... On two occasions I assaulted two members of my unit.  That was totally out of character for me... I began developing bowel problems, fatigue problems, concentration and memory problems...   I was given a formal warning for not socialising with my colleagues... I then absented myself without leave for 77 days... Several psychiatrists were seen, in excess of eight or nine, and I spent two and a half months approximately in the psychiatric unit as an inpatient… The loss of [my] baby [due to brittle bone syndrome] caused my fifth attempt at suicide. 

Michael Capps, Royal Corps of Transport, 19 July 2004.
On returning to the UK I was told that everyone that had known me beforehand had noticed a big change in me.  I had become very sulky, moody, did not want to socialise with friends, even in my own home.  My fitness started to suffer.  I was finding it harder to participate in sports… 

The following is a list of some of my problems: arthritis, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, major depressive disorder, general anxiety disorder including paranoia, post traumatic stress disorder, skin rashes, flashbacks, (low-flying helicopters and shooting stars remind me of Scuds and Patriots); night sweats, loss of libido, burning semen, mild incontinence.  Just to remind you, I am only 36 years old. 

Mrs Deborah Capps, wife of the previous veteran, 19 July 2004. 
He has attempted suicide on several occasions and has it all planned out, how he would do it in the future… He takes seven different medications at the moment, a total of 29 tablets a day; his medication is constantly changing and sometimes he takes more.  He cannot be left alone at all as he is unsafe.  He has vacant spells and often does not know what he is doing.  He cannot work because of his disabilities… 

Mike’s problems have severely affected our relationship in the past, mainly due to Mike’s inability to feel any emotions.  Sometimes the smallest thing will set off a rage.  He has smashed several items around the house, ranging from cups to knocking doors off hinges… Twinned with Mike’s increasingly diminishing libido and fear of ejaculation which causes an intense burning pain, our love life is almost non-existent… 

My husband has gone from being a lovely, caring family man, always game for a laugh, often the life and soul of a party, to being a housebound agoraphobic who does not care and cannot care about his own life or the lives of his family.  He feels that we would all be better off without him.  He is a young man trapped in the body of an old, infirm man... It has taken an immense effort for him to come here today... 

[We hope that the Gulf War Syndrome] gets recognised, for our children more than anything.  The future is what is important now and, like I say, that it is recognized. We [must not] have to fight all the time to get the benefits we get.  

Hakim Tella, Royal Artillery, 19 July 2004.
We were instructed to form a single file and the medics then administered the vaccinations... I began to suffer from lower back pain, loss of appetite, irritable bowel, joint and chest pain.  After discharge these symptoms became more aggressive and frequent.  Other symptoms also developed, such as palpitations, general body weakness, clicking joints, night sweats and muscle spasms... My arms, my knees, everywhere, every joint in my body almost, clicking.  It is really sore, especially in the morning time when I get up... Mood swings have destroyed my family... 

Before I came out of the Army – that was one of the reasons why I have been pushed out - I had rounds in my weapon.  I had rounds taken off me on guard by my commanding officer who could see that there was something not quite right. 

Mark McGreevy, Royal Signals, 19 July 2004.
I can recall failing an Army BFT three mile run within a few months of returning from the Gulf, struggling with a tight chest and wheezing and reporting sick to the medical officer and then being placed on remedial physical training together with at least ten other soldiers who also failed the run.  Ever since that time over the years, I am aware of repeatedly catching any cold that is going which will infect my chest... Throughout this time, I have suffered fatigue, tiredness and headaches... 

I have been seen by Consultant Physician Dr Chauhan who gives strong medical opinion that my illness and symptoms of repeated infections, ME (chronic fatigue syndrome) and ill-defined conditions and hypertension are a consequence of my Gulf War Service.  I have also recently been seen by Dr Myhill who is a specialist in ME and immune system disorders.  She is convinced that all of my illnesses are attributable to Gulf War exposures and that my whole immune system and metabolism have been damaged… 

My main concern is my breathing, my respiratory problems…  Fatigue.  Even on four hours [work], I was coming home to my wife and two young children completely worn out... I feel like a 35-year old man in the mornings, and at night I feel twice my age... 

DR JONES:  What about making the journey up to London?  Has that proved a great effort for you? 

A.  It has. 

Carol Avison, widow of a 24-year regular soldier “[who] started off as a private and worked up to a major”, 19 July 2004. 
He developed a pneumonia-type illness on 19 January while he was out there, photophobia and everything like that, and he was treated while he was out there.  It was diagnosed as bronchial pneumonia, so they started antibiotics... One morning, it was weird, there was something wrong with his eyes – one was up there and one down there; he could not see anything and they thought he had a brain tumour... By the tests, it showed that he had neuropathy…  

The way it was explained to me was that his brain cells were degenerating quicker than they were regenerating and that were was nothing we could do about it. He could put his hands in boiling water and he would not know.  He would not know the difference until you said, “You have blisters on your hands.”  

Alvin Pritchard, Queen's Dragoon Guards, 19 July 2004. 
I have not been able to work for thirteen years and I have been told I will never work again... There was a job where I took up as a fruit delivery driver and I lasted there for one day.  The second day I just did not bother going in because I simply could not handle it... I have just been in and out of psychiatric institutions for the last thirteen years with these problems.  

Louisa Graham, a veteran's widow, 19 July 2004.
I would like to tell you about my husband who sadly committed suicide in 2002.  He had 21 years' service with the forces and saw action in a number of places round the world before he went to the Gulf war.  We were married for 23 years so it was not a new situation at all... He was fit, active, a runner, a windsurfer, a surfer, a cyclist, he had a long service, a good conduct medal, he never had any problems, was a very outgoing sort of person.  

When he returned from the Gulf he returned very quiet, and within a short period of time he started to suffer problems.  His speech deteriorated and became very slurred and it continued like that.  He became very withdrawn.  He began to have memory problems, nightmares, he used to wake up in the middle of the night sweating so much that we had to change the bed, and in the end we began to sleep separately for a while ‑ in the same room but in separate areas - because he just used to absolutely wake up soaking wet at night.  During the day he used to have flashbacks, dizzy spells –

THE CHAIRMAN:  What do you mean by "flashbacks"?

A.  Well, it was almost like waking nightmares sometimes.  All of a sudden something would trigger him and he would literally start to put his head in his hands and shout "I cannot stand this any more.  They are coming, they are coming again", and particularly as the second Gulf war started this became more and more frequent.  He had occasional blackouts... He did have some unexplained rectal bleeding as well… 

He destroyed our home and our garden.  He spraypainted every wall, floor, ceiling in the house, threw bleach everywhere, slashed all the furniture, took everything he could possibly remove out of the house into the garden and burnt it.  He weedkillered the complete garden which had up until that point been a real pride and joy to him and a real refuge, and destroyed it completely…  

He appeared to be at the spearhead most of the time and on one particular occasion he went down a road called the Basra Strip which had recently been bombed which he was absolutely horrified by because he said there were literally burning bodies hanging out.  

As I say he was a very caring man and certainly on his return the one thing that really hit him very hard was seeing the children, and certainly he was one of the first people into Kuwait.  He wrote about the oil fires, and he took photographs as well that he brought back while he was there of the oil fires, and he could not believe the total destruction that was going on and it weighed very heavily with him.  Once he returned, within a few months he never spoke of it again.  He would never speak of it again… 

SIR MICHAEL DAVIES: How old was he when he died? 

A.  Forty-eight

Adrian Willson, RAF, 19 July 2004.
It was the pilots I was flying with that started to report me for all manner of errors and omissions in the air. Coupled with a whole series of motor accidents, the Air Force eventually grounded me and stopped me flying...  I was thrown out of the Air Force on compulsory redundancy even though we were short of flight engineers.  It was not a medical discharge… 

They did discover there that I had a missing left kidney. When I was at St Thomas's Hospital the radiologist, who was using an ultrasound scanner on me, called his colleague over and he said something like "Here's another one". They explained to me that they were getting a lot of veterans through with kidney problems.  I asked them what I should do next and they, quite rightly, said they were not supposed to talk to patients but suggested I had an internal examination into the bladder to see if there were two feeds coming into the bladder which suggests there should be two kidneys there.  This was refused by MAP who said it was not necessary. The only further test they did was an IVU, where I was injected with something and I then stood in front of an X‑ray plate which gave an image of my body with a very clear right kidney but a black hole where the left kidney should be. The consultant wrote a report saying that it was probably a lesion from birth...

In 2000 I read in a copy of the Sandy Times (newsletter of the Gulf Veterans Association) a letter by a lady named Sylvia McCormack. She said that her partner had been diagnosed by MAP as having a birth defect with his kidneys, but he was now under another specialist who stated it could not possibly have been a birth defect. One of his kidneys was the size of a five-month foetus and the chap had done two and a half thousand parachute jumps which would have killed him with a kidney like this. I then contacted her and she said she had already had over 100 Gulf veterans contact her to say that they had been diagnosed with birth defects in their kidneys by MAP…

When I sit down a lot I get terrible backaches.  Whenever I am on my feet for more than a few hours I find I can hardly walk.  I get such pains in my legs and joints, my whole body aches, and I get very confused.  

I make a lot of errors... I have blackouts.  I have periods where I suddenly come out of a trance.  I do not know where I am, I do not know what I have done that day, I do not know what I am supposed to be doing... I cannot remember what I did in the morning.  People come and talk to me and I cannot remember having conversations, and because of the lack of memory I become very confused with the things I do... 

I have days when I feel very confident, when everything goes well for me and I feel I should be in a proper job, and then I have these breakdowns where I get overloaded if I try and do too much at once, and I completely break down and I get into terrible rages.  

Dr Nigel Humphrey Graveston, Chair of the National Gulf Veterans and Families Association, 33 Field Hospital RAMC at Al Jubail in Saudi Arabia. Consultant anaesthetist in the army, 19 July 2004.
I was anxious, I became a little depressed, and a bit concerned for my future health in general... I received a telephone call from the brother of a very good friend of mine, my best friend, and he informed me that my best friend had committed suicide while suffering from depression.  [He] had served in the Gulf War with 205 General Hospital in Riyadh... 

My blood pressure was taken by the charge nurse and found to be extremely high.  I think the diastolic was more than 120... When the day came to return to work, I could not do so.  I froze and became very anxious... I again saw my GP and a diagnosis of depression and anxiety was made.  I was started on treatment and eventually returned to work after a five-month absence...  For the next year I remained at work, but tended to have multiple short periods of sick leave.  

However, during this time my anti-depressant requirements had increased, as had my anti-hypertensive therapy.  In spring 2002 I was on sick leave again…  I would have poor memory and poor concentration, irritability and panic attacks...  It became obvious to me at that time that my anaesthetist's career was over… 

THE CHAIRMAN: A number of veterans were giving their primary symptoms as something like asthma, shortage of breath; and others were saying that their primary symptoms were muscular – either their backs were bad or their joints were aching.  Is the Dr Haley theory that that could all be due to damage to the brain?  


Lisa Mates.  From her written statement to the Inquiry about her brother, Paul Carr, who died in August of 1997, 19 July 2004.
He told us that he had received a concoction of drugs, including the anthrax injection and NAP tablets... When Paul came out of the Army his moods became very upsetting for the family.  He was very agitated and would often snap at the lightest of things, which was very out of character.  Paul started to become ill after around nine months of leaving the Army.  It started with slight rashes over his body, then he had convulsions... 

The doctor told our parents there was a problem in Paul’s brain, which was best left alone.  Paul was admitted to Monsall Hospital for over six weeks with a rash all over his body, and at one point he had lost 50 per cent of skin through an unknown allergy according to the doctors.  Paul suffered from many rashes in the following years and started to fit a lot more often.  He was put on medication for the fits, and steroids for the unknown rashes, and as a result of the steroids Paul began to have problems with his bones.  He started to walk with a limp... 

He was told he had a brain tumour and was given radiotherapy.  The doctors told him he had probably had it for about two years.  The radiotherapy did not work so Paul then received chemotherapy.  The doctor told Paul there wasn’t much more they could do for him and he was given between 6-12 months to live.  

Raymond Bristow, military warrant officer theatre technician and combat medical technician, both Class 1, 19 July 2004.  
In 2002 I was tested by Professor Albrecht Schott for chromosomal aberrations, basic biological damage caused by depleted uranium.  I showed the highest level of damage of all those tested... I was showing readings in 2002 of three times the biological damage than the firemen that attended the Chernobyl disaster, and they were tested at the time of the disaster, not 11 years later…  

I do have memory problems... I have got loss of hearing, double vision, loss of peripheral vision, excessive thirst, difficulty in breathing, concentration problems, high blood pressure, pain in the muscles and joints that are described as fibromyalgia... I had to give up driving because of poor concentration.  Oh, and the other thing I suffer from is fits and black-outs and involuntary movements... I was diagnosed with lymphoma.  It was later downgraded to monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance... 

I asked Dr Chris Busby, who is on the Government’s Depleted Uranium Oversight Board.  An extract of his reply is:  “You have received a hefty dose of ionising radiation.  Such doses are capable of causing serious biological and clinical harm.  This suggests that you have some material in you that is continuing to cause this level of chromosome damage and has been causing this damage since you were first exposed.  

In my view, this can only be insoluble depleted uranium particles trapped in your body, following your exposure in the Gulf War 1991.  This is supported by the measurements made by the Uranium Medical Project and published on 15 March 2000, which showed that there was measurable DU in your urine”... From the Imperial Cancer Research site, I quote:  “MGUS is a condition related to myeloma.  MGUS, like myeloma, is most common over the age of 70 years.  Causes:  The only well-established associations are with radiation…  Among atomic bomb survivors the relative risk of developing myeloma increased with the radiation dose.”  I was about 42 at the time of my diagnosis...

I use a wheelchair when I am out for a long time so I have support for my neck, in particular if I am going great distances…   All of my friends that I made in the Gulf are either ill or dead.  My best friend, who I palled up with for buddy-buddy, when you are checking each other’s gas mask, was one of the first to commit suicide on his return. 

THE CHAIRMAN:  What was his name?  (Pause) [the witness breaks down]  It escapes you for the moment.  Never mind.  Mr Bristow, may I say again that we are very, very grateful for your help.  I am sorry to have asked you so abruptly for his name. 

DR JONES: Perhaps you could include it with the remaining documents you are going to send to our secretary.

THE CHAIRMAN:  At any rate, he was one of a number of your friends who are no longer here or still ill.  Thank you so much. 

[His name was] Mick Charman. 

Mrs Janet Mary Calvert, wife of a metereologist in the RAF, now affected by dementia, 19 July 2004.
He had memory problems and did not remember things well enough... he thought it was the NAP tablets and possibly the innoculations they were given before the war... He began having tingles through his body, and eventually in March 2000 he had his first epileptic seizure... He could not work any more; it was impossible – he could not concentrate.  He could not remember things... 

His whole nervous system seems to have been affected in one way and another.  When he had these tingles, he would say it went right through him, and then he would come out in a sweat and go grey, and be like this for quite some time.  He was not doing anything at the time; he would probably be seated.  It was not as if he was engaged in something stressful at the time; it just came, as it were, from nowhere. 

Mr Kenneth Ingermals, who was working with Mrs Calvert's husband at RAF Strike Command, 19 July 2004. 
In a period of 24 hours he completed what he said was the whole gamut of vaccinations, including anthrax.  As far as I know, they were not recorded on his military documents.  He had some in the afternoon and some the next morning.  He... always said that he took the NAP tablets.  I noticed very, very quickly, that he found it increasingly more difficult to complete the work in the allotted time. 

Andrew Hazard, Royal Engineers, 19 July 2004. 
I was just unable to hold a job down.

THE CHAIRMAN:  What was the difficulty in holding jobs down?

I was not able to concentrate.  My memory was getting worse.  I was missing things. I receive a 30 per cent war pension for fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, depressive disorder... I have got back problems – two fused vertebrae, discs that keep popping out;  I have got arthritis in my knees. 

Countess of Mar, 21 July 2004.
I have had contact from many, many farmers, well over 500 farmers.  I recognised some of the symptoms that the Gulf veterans were describing as being very similar to sheep dip symptoms.  One of my sheep dip contacts was in contact with a pilot in the RAF who had a feeling that there was something to do with vaccinations that was wrong. The major [symptoms] are chronic fatigue.  It is not just ordinary tiredness, it is an overwhelming muscular fatigue.  When you take exercise you get this awful fatigue.  Muscle pains, joint pains, even bone pain at excruciating levels.  Childbirth has got nothing on this, I can tell you, and I have done both.  

Also there are what are described as neuro-psychological things… You get terrific mood swings, an inability to concentrate.  I used to read a paragraph and I would read it and read it and read it and nothing would sink in.  Problems with vision; your eyesight would go blurred.  You would have what are described as autonomic symptoms, your digestive system would be upset, incontinence, bladder incontinence. Quite a lot of farmers have described chest pain and have developed heart conditions, and indeed I have as well…

THE CHAIRMAN:  How soon did your symptoms come on? 

A.  About three weeks after I was exposed to sheep dip… I was pretty ill for five or six years… We are told it is all in our heads; but in fact it is not.  I am afraid I have got well because I have been able to pay for treatment… 

People have not looked at these guys’ brains.  The only fellow who has is Haley in America and he found that there were significant differences.  He took a pair of identical twins, one who had been to the Gulf and one who had not, and he found there were significant differences in the two men’s brains.  

Paul Tyler MP,  21 July 2004.  
The British Medical Journal published a medical research results of a Study of the Reproductive Health of UK Gulf War Veterans and the Health of Their Children as a result of a substantial body work by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  This demonstrated that there would seem to be - and there is always a bit of doubt there of course - “a firm correlation between service in the 1991 operations and infertility problems.”  

Michael Barber, Royal Corps of Transport, 21 July 2004.  
Health-wise I was getting headaches and tiredness but it was more mental state, I think, then because I was starting to get depressed.  I was looking forward to getting home but as soon as I got home --- I had been home a week and we went straight on leave and I was drinking really heavily...   I lost interest in everything... 

I left the Army and I worked for ten years.  When I first came out I went driving with a company, but then I was starting to fall asleep all the time, on the motorway and that, and I was scaring myself.  I had to stop and sleep all the time because of the tiredness… I was coming home from work, I was sleeping and then just going straight back to work.  I was sleeping on nights as well.  Whenever we had breaks on nights I was falling asleep then as well.  I was sleeping all day and still falling asleep at night...  I tried to kill myself... I collapsed and I woke up five weeks later in hospital.  My immune system had shut down...

THE CHAIRMAN:  What was the explanation for that that the doctors gave you?  

A.  The doctors cannot tell me.  All they can tell me is --- it was herpes simplex, which is a cold sore, and he said any normal person would have just fought it off but because my immune system had shut down it attacked my liver, it attacked my kidneys and it went up my spinal fluid into my brain and I got a brain disease, encephalitis…  

I am on blood pressure tablets now, anti-depressants.  I am on tablets that protect my stomach.  I am on folic acid tablets...  Nobody can tell me what has happened to me.  My doctors cannot tell me what has happened to me.  I have got a ten-year old daughter.  They cannot tell me whether it is going to happen to me again.  Basically I just wanted some answers more than anything else... 

MRS BARBER:  He was on kidney dialysis while he was in hospital.

DR JONES:  It was kidney dialysis?

MRS BARBER:  Yes, but they told me, when they took a sample of his liver, that he definitely was not going to survive because it was so rare, what happened to him.  They actually counselled him for HIV.  That is what they thought he had, because it was so rare for his immune system to be so low.  But he did not have HIV.

DR JONES:  Since you recovered from that illness have you had any problem fending off other infections?

MR BARBER. My headaches are a lot worse and basically since my illness I am just tired all the time.  I just sleep most of the day and night, but I am not working now.  Aches and pains.  I got a cold at Christmas, just a normal cold.  I used to just fight it off, but it stuck with me for quite a long time. 

Geoffrey Brown, RAF, 21 July 2004. 
I started experiencing short term memory loss and unusual mood swings, becoming aggressive for no reason at all.  My wife admitted to me that she had seen a change occurring in me for some time.  When I began to experience cramps, pins and needles in my limbs and hot flushes, I knew from having read other veterans’ accounts of ill health that something was not right. 

THE CHAIRMAN:  You have put here that the bad period was from about 1997 through to 2001?   

A.  My wife will testify to that... I was very reluctant to make known my symptoms because I did not think anybody would have listened to me, and there was the added problem of being grounded if they did find something, and I enjoyed the job I was doing.  I knew there was going to be an end to my flying career eventually because of my termination of service in 2000.  Maybe it was unprofessional not to tell them but I was enjoying what I was doing and I could put up with it, and I think really I came to a crisis in those years where it was really bad. 

SIR MICHAEL DAVIES: Chronic fatigue and so on? 

A.  The mood swings and cramps, pins and needles were really bad.  I just could not drive anywhere for more than half an hour because it became so intense.  With my hands on the steering wheel and my feet in the position they would be in I found it very difficult.  I could not kneel down for too long.   

Jason Bosworth, Ordnance Corps, 21 July 2004.  
I joined the Army as an apprentice tradesman in 1984 at the age of 16, so I was a boy soldier.  I served in the 1991 Gulf conflict and I subsequently became ill with chronic fatigue syndrome...  I was finally medically discharged in February 2001, and I was categorised as permanently unfit for any form of Army service.  My wife Alison, who never served in forces, is also now suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome.  We both tested positive for a mycoplasmal infection last year, which I will come on to later.  Both of us were in perfect health prior to the Gulf conflict...  

In Christmas 1992 I suffered a flu-like illness.  Although I thought I had got over it I do not think I actually did.  During 1993 I became very susceptible to viruses and became increasingly fatigued.  In October 1993, due to the fatigue, I was forced to give up sport of all types.  From October 1993 to January 1994 I suffered recurrent tonsillitis and received various courses of antibiotics.  This led to a tonsillectomy in May 1994.  An important note: the major on the operating team came on a bedside visit the next day and told me that on removing my tonsils they were the worst that she had ever seen... 

I was doing as little as three hours a day for approximately two years, doing paperwork only.  I could not do the fitting and carrying work any more.  

During the last eight years, even though I eventually managed to get back to full days and my condition in the early days did improve, I was still physically unable to carry out my primary trade as a vehicle mechanic…  

I also suffer from mood swings, irritability and all the additional symptoms related to chronic fatigue syndrome – muscle pains, joint ache, short term memory loss.  I have to write lists; otherwise I forget.  I can go down to the shop to get four things.  I get down there and I only get two because I have forgotten the other two.  Lack of concentration – it is very hard to focus.  

It is interesting what Geoff Brown said a minute ago – the small triggers.  Boom: I am gone.  I can be there, come home from work very happy, not had a bad day; okay, I am very tired; work takes it out of me, but one of my kids will wind me up and I will just lose it completely for the smallest thing…  Quality of life.  I do not have any.  I work, come home, am tired, get at the kids ‑ that is it.  I basically work. 

Michael Roy Lingard, RAF, 21 July 2004.
After almost 14 years since the conflict my memory of my time in No 1 Armoured Division has faded except for specific images, smells and feelings that stay in my mind and haunt me on a daily basis.  These images include the carnage down the Basra Road, the barrage of artillery that took place before we went through, the burning oil wells that created the intense fog, and the feelings of isolation in being with people whom I did not know and the strange procedures they adhered to... 

When I returned from the Persian Gulf my mental state was far from what it should have been.  I would go down to the pub looking for a fight and if I could not find one then I would instigate one.  One particular evening I took offence at comments made by the landlord and threw a heavy bottomed glass through the pub window.  On another occasion I was choked unconscious after someone put their arm around my throat in order to stop me beating to death a member of the RAF regiment who had given me a punch... 

I was developing pains to the joints of my feet, hands and knees... I developed a rash around my neck, chest and torso.  I was suffering severe stomach problems and, worst of all, my wife had a miscarriage… I was classed as workshy, untidy, an inexperienced member of the team and instantly taken a dislike to by my senior NCO.  I began to have difficulty in organising myself and dealing with what were really quite normal situations.  I was suffering from feelings of depression, immense stress and anxiety which led to a complete mental breakdown... 

I suffer from chronic fatigue, my body is in a perpetual state of tiredness, I have no energy, my chest, arms and legs feel leaden and take great effort to move.  I feel as if my body is continually fighting a virus or infection.  Even if the will is there, I cannot motivate myself no matter how hard I try... 

Gastro intestinal problems. 
Since returning from the Gulf my body has developed a chronic intolerance to foods and medication.  These result in severe diarrhoea, stomach cramps and ‘flu-like symptoms. These have proved a real burden as it is not possible to accept any medication to alleviate the other problems…

Depression.  I feel I have lost all of the tools to deal with life.  My nervous state is very poor and I shake uncontrollably for no apparent reason.  I have a feeling of continual sickness in my stomach.  I have regular breakdowns where all I want to do is crawl into a corner and sob.  This often results in an attempt to hurt myself by repeatedly striking my head against the wall.  I do not want to continue living.  

Joint pains.  I suffer with terrible joint pains in my knees, neck, feet, hands, ankles and elbows.  My joints make continual cracking and tearing meat sounds.  The pains allow me no comfort, the joints have to be frequently articulated, the resulting disabilities are in walking, writing, turning a door handle, taps, etc.  

Poor sleep.  Sleep plays a big part in my life.  I am ever conscious of the amount of sleep I receive.  However, I have very poor sleep and the sleep I get provides little or no refreshment whatsoever.  (Pause [The witness breaks down]) 

THE CHAIRMAN:  I am very happy to read it out for you.

A.  I would like to read it, please.

HE CHAIRMAN:  You shall.  

A.  Extreme reaction to viral infections.  My body seems to have lost the ability to fight simple viral infections well.  The common cold has a devastating effect on my body and lasts for many weeks.   

Loss of hearing.  I have gone progressively deaf in both ears.  This problem occurs after a series of viral infections.  My hearing worsened during the period of infections and did not return.  The loss of hearing was made worse with each bout of the virus. 

Tinnitus.  I suffer with chronic tinnitus all the time.  It is as if I am in an aviary with hundreds of chirruping birds.  

Low sperm count.  After several tests it has been identified that I have a low sperm count and as a result I do not have any children.  I have a poor libido.  

Photosensitivity.  I find any bright and intense light intolerable.  This includes sunlight, computer monitors and lights, etc.  

Rectal problems.  I suffer from painful anal fissures and haemorrhoids and daily excrete blood from my anus.   

Concentration.  I used to take great pride in my ability to successfully plan and organise highly responsible duties.  However, this has degenerated to a state where I now find it difficult to concentrate on more than one thing at once. This results in a single‑mindedness that verges on the obsessive allowing me no peace and making the ability to switch off impossible.  This obsession with one particular subject matter is to the total detriment of everything else that is going on around me.  This lack in my ability to think somewhat laterally means that important issues are left to build up and as a result I am unable to deal with the added pressure and suffer incredible mental torment.  

Bleeding gums.  My gums have bled constantly since returning from the Gulf.  

Skin rashes.  I suffer with dry flaky skin around my neck, chest and torso.  This is prevalent all the time.  

Chemical sensitivity.  I suffer from huge lumps under my armpit after using chemicals such as antiperspirants.   

Lumps up my nose.  I frequently get lumps up my nose.  It was first thought these were polyps but no evidence was found during the tests… 

Three months ago I finally felt my life had become intolerable.  I had identified the rope and the location with which to hang myself.  I have been off work for three months and although I am still struggling with life I have yet to hang myself

Gerard Davey, RAF, 21 July 2004. 
In years after that [vaccination and spraying] my health got worse and worse.  In 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998 it got worse.  It was as if I just went down in the depths of despair physically and mentally and I slowly but surely came out a little bit.  But between 1995 and 1998 were the worst years... 

I was off work for three months, late 1997‑1998, when I was really bad and then I reduced my hours to three or four days, and I think it was eighteen months to two years when I built it up to full time again... My marriage broke up... 

Like the previous gentleman said, I would do a day’s work, go home, and just collapse.  Lie on the bed, put a little light music on and not be able to do anything at all.  I would not sleep; I would just lie there.  For a period of two years I did not sleep at all, I would just lie on the bed.  I would not get any rest…  

Flashbacks, if I hear a noise outside.  I am very hypersensitive to noise.  Nightmares.  Chronic fatigue.  The fatigue covers everything.  At the moment I have a level of fatigue where I shall be absolutely shattered when I get home tonight, but I had to do [it] today.

Dafydd Alun Jones. Consultant Psychiatrist holding clinics for ex‑servicemen, 27 July 2004.
I know men, for instance, from the Gulf who cannot go to a barbecue as the smell of burnt meat brings back the Basra road and it is overwhelming to them... I had one Gulf veteran in Coventry and he had been charged with breaking windows in Coventry police station.  He was smashing the windows and shouting,  “Come on out you Iraqi bastards”.  His mother said to me afterwards, “You know, he wasn’t in Coventry, he was in the Gulf.”... 

I met a young man who told me there were lots of Gulf Veterans in Scotland and they did not have anyone to speak to and he asked if I would do a clinic for them.  The first time I went there were about 20 young men and I looked around me and the thing that struck me was that half of them had walking sticks.  These were young men who had run for days for their regiments or boxed for their regiments and they had walking sticks.  

Dr Derek Hall, RAF medical personnel, 27 July 2004.
Six weeks later I was alarmed one morning to find that my central vision had disappeared... The bombshell was given to me that I had what appeared to be a malignant melanoma... [However] it did not turn out to be malignant; it was a benign lesion... And then the next thing that happened I was aware myself that my thought processes were not working properly.  Indeed this was commented on by my executive reporting officers but nobody mentioned a word to me about it.  There was no friendly chat or “come and have a talk”, nothing.  

Then in sequence I got hit with an unusual form of pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney stones, renal failure, combined hepato-renal failure on one occasion, chronic anaemia, which was resistant to treatment.  The list just goes on and on.  

My shape changed, my hands enlarged, my feet enlarged, the shape of my mandibles changed, my maxilla has changed, my cap size has increased.  Bones are supposed to cease growing at 25 and here I was at 43 with an expanding skeleton... My cap size which had been for 25 years seven and a quarter suddenly became greater than seven and a quarter, my operating glove size which was seven and a half became eight and a half, my shoe size went from eight to ten and a half, my shoulder tip to shoulder tip distance increased... 

I am virtually pre-leukaemic. I am due to start chemotherapy in 48 hours… I saw a lot of people in the initial phase, in laymen’s terms, who appeared to have been extremely sunburnt... but the sunburn did not settle.  They were left with descremating skin for months...

To this day I do not know whether they were suffering from ionising radiation toxicity or whatever but I know that I saw people with weird and wonderful symptoms that I could not explain.  I saw people coming in with neurological disorders which were inexplicable... I used to be a very proficient cryptic crossword enthusiast.  I cannot get my brain -- it is almost as if I have forgotten a language... 

I am getting worse.  There was a significant downturn from December 2002.  I took another turn for the worse at the end of October last year.  At the beginning of October I was still capable of washing and cleaning my car; by November I was not.  Then in terms of mobility since March of this year I have been extremely limited in walking and the only reason I have managed to walk across the road today is because I am on high dose steroids.  

Malcolm Hooper, Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Sunderland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Gulf War Veterans, 27 July 2004.
If I could just draw your attention to this business of osteoporosis.  This is a finding which is extraordinary.  Young men do not get osteoporosis.  You see it in elderly men and post-menopausal women - that is where it gets its name as a major illness - but here there are young men with osteoporosis.  Why?… A very, very common feature of Gulf War Veterans is that many of them suffer from an obesity which is classically upper barrel obesity and very many of them have problems with sexual function.  They have got low libido and erectile dysfunction.  That seems be very widespread.  

I think there is a case which involved only vaccines… inducing an autoimmune condition which damages the pituitary gland, and the consequence of that is osteoporosis, depressed growth hormone and mineralization of bone and teeth - there is a teeth problem with these guys as well - and the other one is the distribution of body fat and muscle, and then the gonadotyrophins responsible for controlling libido and erectile function.E  

James Tuite III, consultant, former Special Assistant to the Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs for National Security and Dual‑use Export Policies, 2 August 2004.
26-32 per cent of all US veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War suffer from a pattern of symptoms, including fatigue muscle and joint pains, headache, cognitive and gastrointestinal problems over and above their counterparts who did not deploy to the Gulf.  This translates into between 180,000 to 220,000 of the 698,000 troops who served in the first Gulf War…  

At the time, there was no acknowledgement that the initial effects of organophosphate poisoning, the chemical class in which many of the nerve agents and pesticides are grouped, are not immediately debilitating and deadly.  They include headache, fatigue, skin irritation, loss of appetite, dizziness, weakness, nervousness, nausea, perspiration, diarrhoea, eye irritation, insomnia, thirst, restlessness, irritation of the nose and throat, loss of weight, soreness of joints and changes of mood.  These symptoms were reported by many of the veterans we interviewed… 

Over the eight months following the initiation of Banking Committee investigation, Senator Riegle's office was contacted by over 1,000 Gulf War veterans directly.  In addition to the veterans from the United States, we were also contacted by sick veterans of the Canadian, British and Australian armed services who served in the Persian Gulf and who also suffered from this disabilitating syndrome.  

Keith Rhodes, chief technologist at the [US] Government Accountability Office, 2 August 2004. 
The ultimate point is that those who were deployed to the Gulf are reporting illnesses 25 to 30 per cent greater than those who were not.  If we take 700,000 and we take the 100,000 that have been reporting, that constitutes a 25 to 30 per cent greater number than what we are seeing from other locales…
Overall, the types of symptoms different veterans’ groups in the United Kingdom and the United States have reported are strikingly similar, even though veterans in these studies came from different countries and served in different locations in the Gulf War theatre/

We do not see the cross-interaction and the multiple sensitivities that can come from exposure to multiple chemicals.  We are going to have an extremely difficult time trying to figure out how we can treat now and prepare for the future.  We have to figure out as best we can: is it multiple vaccines at an accelerated rate with adjuvant that is not standardised acceptable?  Is it that you were in an environment where there were huge amounts of hydrocarbons in the atmosphere and you were breathing them in because of oil well fires?  Is it that you were using pesticides?  Were you wearing a yellow collar to keep the plumes out? 

Robert W Haley, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Epidemiology at the University of Texas, 2 August 2004. 
I talked to some of the wives of the ones who were employed and they said, “He’s just a mess.”  One wife said that her husband used to be the shop foreman before he went over to the war and now he works in the mail room.  They did not want to fire him because he is a hero, but he cannot work on the floor anymore because he is not up to it… 

There appears to be a complex web of causes, nobody would dispute that.  The theory with the most current support is that low level sarin, possibly in combination with organophosphates pesticides, were being used because they had a similar mode of action and the NAPS tablets, pesticides, DEET, all of this together somehow caused damage to these deep brain cells, particularly in soldiers with low PON type Q activity in their blood... So the VA then did their own study where they compared the deployed and the non‑deployed and they looked at all the ALS (Motor Neurone Disease) in those two groups and they got the same finding except that it is getting worse.

Andrew Mason, civilian contractor of British Aerospace, 2 August 2004. 

THE CHAIRMAN:  Can you describe your symptoms now?  Are they still continuing?     
A.  Yes, they do continue.  I am a very sweaty person and I have been for many years.  I do not sleep particularly well and I find it very hard to get to sleep.  I find it very hard to wake up because I do not feel refreshed after sleep.  I suffer a lot of what a lot of people have described as muscular pain, but I would say it is more to do with exertion and when I exert myself, then I ache considerably… The event was so striking when it did occur, everything in the locality wound up dead, I am afraid.   

I lived in a British Aerospace accommodation block and shortly after the event I used to walk, but everything locally was dead.  Birds were on the floor, dead, starfish, dead under rocks.  There were huge amounts of washed-up jellyfish, all dead.  Everything in that locality died just after this event and I can only put it down to the fact that the scud had exploded there. 

Dr Pat Doyle, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, 10 August 2004.
The question that the MRC posed was, “Were the veterans of the Gulf War at increased risk in terms of their offspring’s health and their own reproductive health?” Response rates were disappointing, I must say, in the sense that for men there was only around 50 per cent response overall. … For the men, we had almost 3,000 miscarriages reported by Gulf men and 1,500 miscarriages reported by ERA [non-deployed] men.  In terms of percentages that works out to 18 per cent of pregnancies ending in a miscarriage reported by Gulf men, 14 per cent ending in a miscarriage reported by the control group, the ERA men... It appears that there is a 40 per cent excess... 

[For] congenital malformation [the] difference [is]... 5.2 per cent [to] 3.5 per cent. [For infertility] we found again an excess of about 40 per cent:  seven per cent of men said they and their partners failed to achieve a pregnancy despite one year of trying and consulting a doctor compared with five per cent of the comparison group... We did find some evidence that there was a higher proportion of Gulf men with infertility who had abnormal sperm.  That is called teratospermia, but unfortunately the numbers were extremely small so, despite our large study, we could not conclude too much from it.

THE CHAIRMAN:  I see.  It is the number of people with teratospermia that is small. 
A.  Terribly small.  It is about six in the Gulf War.    It was 21 in the Gulf veterans and six in the non-Gulf veterans, so we are talking of very small numbers, but it is worth flagging up as something we cannot ignore but the confidence around that result is rather low.  

The second piece of additional evidence is that the pregnancies fathered by Gulf veterans who did not report infertility problems, when we asked them how long it took to conceive this particular pregnancy, was longer for Gulf veterans than ERA... As I said in my conclusions, we found associations between increased risk of miscarriage, some odd malformations and infertility, and I think that is as far as I would go.  If you would like to call that a problem, yes, it is a problem...

THE CHAIRMAN:  I have not got your main paper yet but I have got the press release.  What it does not say here, but I am sure it does there, is the ratio between the Gulf War illnesses and the rest of the population at large.  You say in your second paragraph of the press release simply that Gulf War veterans were more likely to report mood swings, memory loss, lack of concentration, etc.  What was the actual ratio?  Is that in your paper?   

A.  Yes, it is, and it is 2.7.  This is for all things.  One or more new symptoms was 60.7 per cent in the Gulf versus 36.7 per cent in the non-Gulf