Howard Andrews of Taunton, Somerset, is England’s oldest surviving Spanish Civil War International Brigader (see Socialist Worker, 18 November 2006).
He was to celebrate his 100th birthday this week – and has turned down an offer of a telegram letter from the queen. However, as an active campaigner against replacing the Trident nuclear weapons system, he has written the following appeal to the queen:
On the occasion of my 100th birthday, 15 February, I am writing to you.
I served with the Royal Army Medical Corps during the 1920s, in Spain with an International Brigade hospital unit from 1936 to 1938, and with the Royal Artillery, including Dunkirk, during the Second World War.
During the time of this service I saw at first hand the grief and destruction that war brings. But the prospect of a nuclear war passes belief – hundreds of millions of men, women and children will be destroyed.
I fail to see how a civilised and sane country could even think of being responsible for such mass slaughter. Besides that, to spend billions on replacing Trident, which we don’t need, when the NHS, which we do need, is strapped for cash is plain crazy.
For mercy’s sake, please urge our prime minister to rethink his decision on going ahead with replacing our nuclear arsenal, before it is too late.