The effects of nuclear weapons. Credible nuclear deterrence, debunking "disarm or be annihilated". Realistic effects and credible nuclear weapon capabilities for deterring or stopping aggressive invasions and attacks which could escalate into major conventional or nuclear wars.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Who is really behind this nuclear weapons effects blog? The story of John Bryan Cook, 87 - "secret" info about the real founder of this blog.....!

 "I wouldn't know, sir! I'm from Alabama!"

- the hilarious reply that Vice-President Richard Nixon received during his visit to Accra, Ghana, in 1957, after Nixon foolishly asked a gentleman the ignorant question:

"What does it feel like to finally be free from the yoke of slavery?"

Photo above: 
"Nixon is in Accra for Ghana Fetes", New York Times, 4 March 1957: "ACCRA, Gold Coast, March 3 --Vice President Richard M. Nixon arrived today to represent the United States at the birth of Ghana as an independent nation Wednesday."

But you never quite get the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from certain Yankie Doodle papers, and the truth is stranger and funnier than the fiction you do read in the papers...

 (For a version of this Nixon blunder, please see Martin Meredith's Fate of Africa.)

Ghana achieved independence on 6 March 1957, when John Bryan Cook arrived. Ghana was previously called The Gold Coast, by the British Empire.  Nixon attended to kick the hell out of colonist slave trading hell home Britain, but found a fellow Yank sticking his own conceit straight back into his crooked pipe, to be smoked at leisure.

The Queen and the late great Prince Philip's 1961 visit to Accra, Ghana was attended by John Bryan Cook ,who was working as Accountant for Travel Services Limited in Accra, where he had been stationed by the London accountancy firm Midgley Snelling and Co. since 1957.  When the beer put out hours earlier in ice buckets turned warm, John personally ran to get Philip a cold beer from the fridge, sticking to Philip who was funnier and had fewer people around him than the Queen, who was constantly surrounded by a huge crowd, John recalls.

Photos above: Queen Elizabeth II dances with the first Ghanaian President, Kwame Nkrumah, in Accra, Ghana, in 1961.  John Bryan Cook was invited, being Accountant for Travel Services Limited in Accra, Ghana, and stuck to the late Prince Philip rather than the poor crowded in Queen Elizabeth II, running to get him a cold beer when he was thirsty, he recalls.

Photo above: John Bryan Cook on left in 1961 in the Ghanaian jungle at the traditional tribal village wedding ceremony of his colleague outdoors where he caught malaria from mosquitoes and was seriously ill with hot-cold fever and then malarial relapse jaundice and anaemia.  He had only accepted this commission to go to Accra, Ghana in 1957 in the first place (Travel Services Limited, Ghana, was the company privately owned "for fun" by the partners of London accountancy firm Midgeley Snelling and Co) because he had poor lung health, having caught TB in 1945 like George Orwell, and barely survived as a living skeleton with damaged lungs, requiring constant warmth to avoid pneumonia (easier in Ghana than in cold London winters).

Photo above: John's 1960-61 Ghanaian (Accra) driving licence photo (the name written in jumbled form as "Bryan John Cook" is an error by the Ghanaian authorities!).  The next page after this shows it was renewed also from 23 August 1961 to 22 August 1962.  After 1962, John moved from Accra, Ghana, to Lagos, Nigeria, taking up the position of accountant for the old Cornish mining equipment firm, Holman Brothers Ltd, who were supplying road building equipment to the newly independent country of Nigeria, which became independent of the horrid British colony slave trading empire on the glorious day of 1 October 1960.  John worked for that firm in Lagos until his third and worst bout of malaria in 1969, during the inter-tribal Nigerian-Biafra Civil War.  When on his travels in the country to distant company branch offices, during this Biafran War, John chanced to encounter a writer, Frederick Forsyth, BBC/Reuters correspondent (later fired from the BBC, now an author) at a hotel bar, sympathising with him on Harold Wilson's terribly murderous hypocritical decision to sell arms to Federal Nigeria to fuel genocide of the poor Biafrans, who only asked for a fair share of the Niger Delta oil profits which Federal Nigeria was sucking out of the local Biafran's lands around the oil fields (the Federal Government was then based in Lagos, before Abuja became the capital in 1991).  This encounter, together with John's startling 1950s nuclear weapons secrets training experiences as a UK Civil Defence Corps Intelligence Section Advanced (red-badge) Instructor (which he did in lieu of National Service, having been rejected due to his tuberculosis (TB) ill health) trained at the Easingwold Civil Defence Staff College in Yorkshire (where he met Britain's leading Home Office Scientific Advisory Branch nuclear weapons testing effects experts), led to this blog as explained on the previous post where John pointed out that the 50,000,000 British C7 gas/biological virus general purpose civil defence masks stockpiled until 1968 would prevent the pandemic if worn where covid transmission was possible for two weeks, since the virus as a surface contaminant only survives a few days!

Photo above: John Bryan Cook proudly wearing a UK Civil Defence Corps Instructor's Enamel Lapel Badge on his jacket in his 1962 Nigerian driving licence photo (you can even see from the driving licence that he was then living at 14 Marine Road, Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria), and his less fancy 1951 UK driving licence showing the extra driving test he needed for special Civil Defence Corps vehicles!  The Instructor badges came in two colours, basic (blue, from the local instructor course) and advanced (red, from the Easingwold Staff College graduation in Yorkshire).

Photo above: John helped with radio communications for the Kingston-upon-Thames branch of the St Johns Ambulance Association and is a Serving Brother of the Order of St John in consequence. This was because, as well as sending weapons to Lagos in the Nigerian civil war to enable the government to butcher the poor Biafran rebels who wanted their share of the profits from the oil being pumped out of their local Niger river Delta, hard left wing Harold Wilson had also listened to lying propaganda from CND about civil defence and so closed the UK Civil Defence Corps in March 1968.  So instead of re-joining that on returning to the UK in July 1969, John helped the St Johns Ambulance Brigade, having already done advanced first aid and advanced driving in the UK Civil Defence Corps.  He had also a passion for electronics since a boy, when he had built his own radio and TV set from scratch, so he was able to repair and recycle broken two-way radios for the St John Ambulance Brigade, saving money.

Photos above: why John was fit enough to lead an active life despite having his lungs and body ravaged by TB at the age of twelve in England, namely his seven years of regular, healthy sea sailing as founder member number 61 of the Apapa Boat Club, Creek Road, Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria (he lived a short distance away at 14 Marine Road, Apapa, for the years 1962-9).  He kept the plastic member's pass (in photos above), which looks as new and modern as if it had been made yesterday!  Their logo is still a mermaid, over fifty years after he left in June 1969, to get married in England the next month.

Photos above: the girl who stole John's heart, Annie Cook (who prefers the shorter word "Ann") nee Shanley with her best friend Kitty, both RGNs (State Registered Nurses, then called SRNs, but now called RGNs, Registered General Nurses), at the London Clinic in 1966.  Ann, now 88, one of ten kids in the farming Shanley family, arrived in London in September 1951, having applied successfully by letter from her home town Roosky, County Leitrim, Republic of Ireland, to train for the newly created NHS at St Anthony's Hospital, Cheam, Surrey, to become a State Registered Nurse.  Cheam is a small place beside the large town of Kingston-upon-Thames, which she loved.  St Anthony's Hospital is affiliated with St Michael's Hospital, Hayle, Cornwall.  Ann spent her first year training at St Michael's in Cornwall, which she loved, then three years at St Anthony's, Cheam. She then did a year long course in general hospital ward nursing at the Holy Cross Hospital, Haslemere, Surrey.  Finally, she went to the Hammersmith Hospital, Ducane Road, London for a long experience-led course in intensive care, used then mostly for heart operation patients and others having major surgery.  But how did they meet? Dad had a malaria relapse on leave in England in 1968, and says Ann was his malaria nurse at the London Clinic!  (So even illness may have a small silver lining, somewhere, if you are lucky enough.)  Kitty and Ann, both pictured above, lived in London Clinic nurses quarters at 5 St Marks Square, Regents Park, London, NW1.  They would walk across Regents Park to the London Clinic in Devonshire Place.  Ann spent three years, 1966-9, working at the private London Clinic for cases such as malaria and also celebrity facelifts such as that for Wallis Simpson, wife of the former King Edward VIII.  (Edward, a frail elderly gentleman, popped in with a nightdress in Marks and Spencer's bag for Wallis, after she had to be returned to surgery for additional stitches, when a wound opened in post-surgical recovery.)  After marriage in 1969, Ann moved first to North London, then to Twickenham from 1970-2, and finally to Chertsey, where she worked part-time as ward manager at St Peter's Hospital on geriatric, urology, pediatrics, and others until retirement from the NHS in 1991.  It was a different ward each shift, so she sharpened her memory for names and extended her experience of different areas of specialised nursing.  After retirement from the NHS in 1991, she continued nursing for the agency Inter-County Nursing Services, Burnham, Slough until 1993, and then worked from 1993-1998 for Friends of the Elderly, Victoria, London, providing qualified RGN nursing care in their homes in North West Surrey.  For putting off her retirement, she was on 5 June 1998 awarded extra pension funds by the govermnent's DHSS for putting off her retirement to provide extra help to those in need at a time of overload crisis for the NHS.  She moved with her husband to his home town of Colchester in 1999, after his retirement.  Altogether she has 48 years of hospital ward and geriatrics nursing experience.


(To be continued & updated as time permits)