Denaby School’s Letter on H-flash (picture and video)

June 1957

Mexborough & Swinton Times, June 1st 1957

Denaby School’s Letter on H-flash

An officer in the Royal Navy, Commander William S. Black, has written to the children and staff of St Alban’s Roman Catholic Jr School. Denaby main, describing the United Kingdom’s first hydrogen bomb explosion near Christmas Island in the Pacific in May.

Commander Black is the senior Catholic on board the light fleet aircraft carrier, H. M. S. Warrior, which controlled the giant Royal Air Force valiant bomber during the dropping of the bomb.

The commander said that there was a brilliant flash although the noise was not as tremendous as had first been expected. A white, brown and red ball appeared which formed into a cloud, growing rapidly larger. The observers watching the explosion were issued with special goggles to shield them eyes from the flash and even with this special equipment they had to turn away as the bomb was fired.

The schoolchildren have been corresponding with the members of the crew of the Warrior since November, when they adopted the ship after their previous ship, Frigate H.M.S. Morecambe Bay had been taken out of commission. Both the children and the crew of the Warrior have had a regular supply of letters from each other although in January the ship was posted to Christmas Island for the nuclear test.

Recent letters from the Warrior were contained in specially printed envelopes to commemorate the test. On the blue envelope is an atomic “mushroom” over Christmas Island through which is flying a bird carrying an anchor. The words first British Megaton Test are printed through the “mushroom.” Among the men writing to the children is Corporal Bob Flood, who had said in recent letters that he will visit the school when his next on home leave.

Josephine Conlon, a pupil at Denaby St Albans School, reads to her companions a letter her class has received from the light carrier HMS Warrior, Flagship to the Pacific fleet which had been taking part in the British hydrogen bomb trials

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