The Danish Peace Academy

Documentation: Greenham Common Peace Camps Songbooks

Working paper 2

Now including the rare Sigrid Møller Greenham Common 1982 slides.


Frontpage of Greenham Women's Peace Camp News no. 2, [1981]. In the files of Holger Terp. The Greenham Newsletter was compiled by Rory (aka Roger) Winter of the Wallingford Peace Group
Greenham Common road sign. Source: Observer, 1982, December 12 p. 11.
© New Statesman. All rights reserved.
© New Statesman. All rights reserved.
See also the editorial: Uncommon Greenham.
New Statesman. Vol. 107. No. 2768. April 6, 1984.
Chant Down Greenham songbook
Frontpage of the Chant Down Greenham songbook.
Greenham Common rounds. In: Kvinder, No. 48, 1983.

Greenham badges
Base invader. Greenham Common Video Game. In: Køkkenrullen, No. 3, 1984.
Base invader. Greenham Common Video Game.
Publisher Magination Software (UK) 1984.
Producer/Author(s) Alan Dordoy
In: Køkkenrullen, No. 3, 1984. p. 10
The Danish Ravnstrup Women's Peace Camp poster. Artist unknown. Source: The Women's Historical Collection, the State Library, Aarhus.
Women at the Ravnstrup Women's Peace Camp (1984-1986), made the handwritten and untitled Ravnstrup Women's Peace Camp Songbook.
See also: News from Danish Peace Camp Wimmin, December 1985. The Women's Historical Collection, the State and University Library, Aarhus.
Big Ravnstrup Women's Peace Camp poster.
Greenham: Focus for the world peace movement. Ekstraposten, March 1985
Greenham: Focus for the world peace movement.
Ekstraposten, March 1985.
Fredsstika, No. 2, 1985
Eileen Scott, sewing teacher and banner maker.
Source: Thalia Campbell: 100 Years of Women's Banners p. 20.
Original photo source: Davenport, Hugo: Women at the wire. Observer; December 12, 1982 p. 13.
In December 1982 Greenham Common inspired the establishment of the Norvegian magazine Fredsstikka (The Peace Twinge), later Link.
Source: 5 år med Fredsstikka, Fredsstikka, 1987 no. 6 p. 18.
Fredsstika, No. 2, 1985
Fredsstika, No. 3, 1983
Fredsavisen, No. 5, 1986
Fredsavisen, No. 5, 1986.
Fredsavisen, No. 5, 1986
Danish women keening in the Town Hall Square Copenhagen 1983. Unsourced. In the files of Grete Andersen.
Danish women keening in the Town Hall Square Copenhagen 1983. Unsourced. In the files of Grete Andersen.
  1. Introduction
  2. Thanks and Credits
  3. US Nukes for Newbury
  4. Picnic - in at the Common, July 1980
  5. Hiroshima Day, 1980
  6. The Long Road To Greenham
  7. Peace Camps, They're Everywhere, They're Everywhere
  8. Deploying the Missiles
  9. Greenham and the Law
  10. Introduction Songbook
  11. Index Songs
  12. Greenham: The First Protests
  13. A Broken Arrow at Greenham Common 1958
  14. First the careful worded denial, then…
  15. The Peace Dividend
  16. Bibliography

Introduction by Holger Terp. All files are now at University of Bristol Library Special Collections, Feminist Archive Archive Boxes.
DM2123/FA/Arch/24 Greenham Common Peace movement, Peace Collection Books, photographs, Holger Terp Collection, songs from Greenham.

Download introduction and songbook as PDF file, 9 MB.

When I was a young boy in the early 1960's I got a growing interest in music; the sing able songs of the Beatles led me to the folk music scene with Donovan's version of Universal Soldier (see the Authobiography of Donovan, the Hurdy Gurdy Man, 2005 pp. 59-60 and pp. 97-98), the guitar playing of Bert Jansch and John Renbourn (see Colin Harper: Dazzling Stranger : Berth Jansch and the British folk and blues revival, 2000), further led me to the American folk music and I learned about the music and song texts of Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan etc., and as the time went by also the older folk singers like Woody Guthrie and the others of his generation.

In the young Donovan's version of "Universal soldier" from 1965, there is one sentence I had difficulties to understand, the line: "But without him, how would Hitler have condemned him at Labau?" I did wonder if Donovan knew what he was singing. The transcribed text of the same text from Buffy Sainte-Marie is: "But without him how would Hitler have condemned him at Dachau." This makes the sentence a little more clearly, the German Nazi concentration camp Dachau, but who is him? Listening to Buffy Sainte-Marie's original recording she sings them and not him. This means that Buffy Sainte-Marie is actually singing "But without him how would Hitler have condemned them at Dachau." And this is crystal clear.

And an interest of the US history made me go back to the times and work of Anthony Bennezeth; the gentle Quaker teacher who invented the social movements including the peace movements, before the establishing of the peace movement as recorded in the standard text books on the history of the peace movement.

During this long process my historical, political and social priorities changed from reading about military and armaments to the question, why do people go to war? The subjects of my studies turned to the history of peace and the history of the peace movement. Lucky I in 1987 was able to buy the files of the Danish journalist and peace activist Ellen Hørup. Going trough her files established the thought that the history of the peace movement was left undone by the established Danish historians and I began to make notes about this.

Also much of the history of the international peace movement is left undone by the established historians.

By the year 2000 I had established the Danish Peace Academy and all my findings of peace culture was published there.

Singing has always been important in social movements and in the summer of 2005 I was told about the songbooks of Greenham Common.

These songbooks proved indeed difficult to find. According to Google and Internet deep search engines, there were none online and after long searches in library databases two appeared in the Women's Library in London: Chant down Greenham (and other songs) and Refuse the cruise.

By publishing this untitled and mostly hand-written Greenham Common women's peace camps songbook, peace art and documentation I hope to be able to add substance to the struggle against nuclear weapons during the cold war; especially the way women protested against nuclear weapons and against nuclear war. Their songs tell their story, so I only needed to add the frame around the Greenham Common story, which is done by contemporary articles, and make credits to the songs, where it has been possible to do so. Also some recordings of the songs have been found.

The women's peace camps at the Greenham Common nuclear base is history now; but their methods of non violent direct action and the weapons they protested against are not. A generation later women are still protesting at military bases. The peace culture created by the many women at Greenham Common might become an inspiration for the present and future protests against the global military industrialised complex.

Support the Peace Camps. Unsourced. In the files of Holger Terp.

The Danish interest for Greenham Common has been surprisingly little, especially after 1984.

Three Greenham Common rounds appears in Fredssangbogen / the Peace Songbook, published in 1983. The volume of Caroline Blackwood were translated into Danish in 1984 and the Danish author Toni Liversage mentions Greenham Common in her books Den tredje verdenskrig – kan vi forhindre den? from 1982 and in Fra Gandhi til Greenham Common from 1987. The three-page story on Greenham Common in the last book of Liversage deals with the early history.

In November 1982 nuclear pacifist Judith Winther from the Danish END writes the possible first Danish article on Greenham Common, in the magazine Fred og Frihed / Peace and Freedom, published by the Danish Women's International League for Peace and Freedom section. The article was written in the spring of 1982; but the publication of the magazine was delayed. The article of Judith Winther is the only article on Greenham Common in this magazine and it has been overlooked by the historians. Also overlooked was a small booklet published by the No to Nuclear Weapons titled Fredslejre / Peace Camps edited by Anette Westrup and the above mentioned Judith Winther in January and April 1983. This booklet on 11 A4 pages has the subtitle Greenham Common, Comiso.

The only Danish researcher who mentions Greenham Common is Søren Hein Rasmussen. In his thesis on the Danish social movements, Sære Alliancer, he tells a well-documented story of the Greenham Common demonstrations in December 1982 and January 1983.

Danish Women for Peace early supported the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp. In December 1982, 8 Danish women visited Greenham Common, wrote Ingegerd [Anna] Rasmussen in Fredsmeddelelser fra Samarbejdskommiteen for fred og sikkerhed, No. 11, 1983 p. 11. According to Merethe Greig in Kvinder / Women No. 48, 1983 pp 28-29, there were 12 Danish Women for Peace in Greenham Common. Two of them were Sigrid Møller, born 1912, from the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, she carried a camera with her. The second was the 56 years old house wife Lisbeth Espersen from Aarhus. She appeared on TV: Dagens Danmark / Denmark Today, November 29, 1982 and traveled to England even though she couldn't speak a word English, had rheumatism and her husband was severly ill. In 1982 he was the oldest known haemophiliac in the world.

[Hansen, Elisabeth: Kvinder vil omringe base. Aarhus Stiftstidende, November 28, 1982.
Jørgensen, Birger: Dagens Danmark [review of tv-broadcast]. Aarhus Stiftstidende, November 30, 1982.
Letter to the editor. Dagens Danmark. Information. December 7, 1982
Til England for freden. Aarhus Stiftstidende, December 8, 1982.
Det ligner en tanke. Letter to the editor. Karla Sørnsen and Annie Marksdal. Aarhus Stiftstidende, December 12, 1982.
Hansen, Elisabeth: Turen kostede venner. Aarhus Stiftstidende, December 19, 1982.
Garval, Lis: Ikke mere legetøj til drengene / No more toys for the boys. Aarhus Stiftstidende, December 19, 1982.
Hun [Lisbeth Espersen interview] gav pokker i sygdom og drog til fredskvinder i England. Aarhus Onsdag: Tilbuds-Avisen Århus December ?, 1982.]

During midsummer 1983 two more Danish Women for Peace, Inger Bjørn Andersen and Grethe Andersen visited the Greenham Common women's Peace Camps. Also Grethe Andersen had a camera with her.

Later 1983 and again the following year the Danish peace activist Mette Mørck and the Quaker Ulla Moltved visited Greenham Common. Like Sigrid Møller Moltved also carried both a pen and a camera with her.

In October 1984, 7 women from Greenham Common visited the Danish Women's Peace Camp at Ravnstrup. They were 'on vacation, because of the wearing evictions'.

[Mørch, Mette: Kvindernes fredslejr ved Greenham Common lever videre. Information, May 17, 1984.
Illustrated whole page article.]

[Hansen, Elsebeth: Fredskvinderne der diskuterer med politiet, Aarhuus Stiftstidende, October 20, 1984.]

Only a dozen articles in newspapers and magazines are recorded in the Danish article database in the years 1982-1984. None thereafter. A handful of books are recorded in the Danish libraries database. Neither the article database nor the libraries database has indexed the articles of the magazines of the peace movement. This adds a couple of handful articles and more also from the same years. The last known Danish news articles is printed in the little magazine from the Danish Women for Peace in April 1990: Greenham Common - still!!

In the years 1980-1994 there is only one news article on Greenham Common in the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s magazine pax et libertas, Vol. 43 No. 1 March 1983.

Reviewed magazines and yearbooks:


  1. Avisårbogen 1984
  2. Ekstraposten 1980-1990
  3. Fred og Frihed / Peace and Freedom 1980-
  4. Fredsavisen / the Peace Newspaper 1984-1987
  5. Fredsmeddelelser fra Samarbejdskommiteen for fred og sikkerhed 1981-1985
  6. Ikkevold 1980-
  7. Kvinder / Women 1981-1984
  8. Køkkenrullen 1980-
  9. Nej til Atomvåbens Kvartalsavis 1980-1990
  10. Socialistisk weekend 1986-1988


  1. Cruise Resistance Bulletin 1985
  2. Disarmament Campaigns 1980-1991
  3. END Papers 1981-1993
  4. Greenham Newsletter 1989-1993
  5. The Greenham Network Newsletter 1994
  6. Melody Maker 1981-1984.
  7. New Statesman 1980-1984
  8. Pax et libertas 1980-1994
  9. Peace News uncomplete 1980-
    Peace News: Greenham: 25 years of women's struggle against nuclear weapons.
  10. Sanity 1983-1988
  11. The Southern Resister For Peace And Justice For All 1986-1987 (CND Winchester)
  12. WRI Newsletter

Finnish; Swedish published in Finland

  1. Fredsposten / The Peace Post 1981-1986


  1. Frauen Leben : Frauen widerstands camp 1985.


  1. Fred og Frihet / Peace and Freedom 1986-1987
  2. Fredsstikka 1983-1990. Continued as Link 1990-.
  3. Ikkevold 1981-
  4. Link 1990-.


  1. Fred och Frihet / Peace and Freedom 1986-1987
  2. Pax 1980-1984

The two other Scandinavian magazines of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom add a handful of unique articles. Some of the articles are written by Scandinavians, others by British. The Finnish magazine Fredsposten also tells the story of the Finnish Women for Peace Greenham Common solidarity demonstration at the British embassy in Helsinki on April 5, 1984.

Sundgren, Tatiana: Solidaritet med kvinnorna i Greenham Common och Comiso. Fredsposten, No. 3, 1984 pp. 24-25.

[Sundgren, Tatiana: Solidaritet med kvinnorna i Greenham Common och Comiso. Fredsposten, No. 3, 1984 pp. 24-25.
Stenwall, Annika: Pladsen där också jag borda vare. Fredsposten, No. 1, 1984 pp. 24-25.
De tar vad de har sine kroppar. Fredsposten, No. 6, 1982 p. 15.
Åberg, Agneta: Röster från Greenham Common / Voices from ... Fredsposten, No. 2, 1983 pp. 24-25.
Åberg, Agneta: Vad händer i England. Fredsposten, No. 1, 1983 pp. 26-27.

Nilsson, Lena: Elden brinner ved Yellow Gate / The fire is burning at ... Fred och Frihet [Stockholm], No 1, 1987 pp. 16-17.
Remie, Hazel: 1000 kvinnor gjorde intrång / 1000 women invaded. Fred och Frihet [Stockholm], No 1, 1987 p. 18.
Base invation January 13-14, 1987.
Remie, Hazel: "Jag lämmer inte mina systrar på Greenham ..." / I don't leave my sisters... Fred och Frihet [Stockholm], No 1, 1987 p. 17.
Schäffer, Renate: Som ringar på vattnet... / As rings upon the water. Fred och Frihet [Stockholm], No 1-2, 1986 pp. 24-25.

Nydal, Reidun: Utenfor piggtrådsgjerdene i Greenham Common. Fred og Frihet [Oslo], des. 1986 p. 19.
Smith, Georgina: Brev fra Greenham Common / Letter from ... Fred og Frihet [Oslo], No 1, 1987 p. 16.
Arrests of women after demonstration November 3, 1986.]

According to, Iron Ladies: Women in Thatcher’s Britain - a bibliography compiled by Sally Bowen 2004, The Women’s Library and the TUC Library Collections, housed at London Metropolitan University, only have Greenham Common Women Peace Camps magazines up to 1989.

These are:

  1. Green and Common Womyn’s Peace Camp news Imprint: [s.l.]: The Group Library has: 10 issues [1984?]
  2. Greenham newsletter Imprint: [s.l.]: [s.n.] Library has: 1987-Oct. 1988
  3. Greenham Women in London newsletter Imprint: London: London Greenham Women Library has: Mar/Apr. [1987] – Halloween 1987
  4. London Greenham Women newsletter Imprint: London: London Greenham Women Library has: No.2 (May 1985); no. 5 (Aug. 1985); Dec. 1987-July 1989
  5. Yellow Gate Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp Imprint: Newbury: Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp Library has: Apr. 1988: Sept. 1989: [Dec.] 1989

[Source: ]

However, some English Greenham Common documents turned up in Danish magazines and newspapers.

... And we hit one peacewomen with a vehicle.

[Picture source 1: Nej til Atomvåben; the Danish END.
No information about artist.
Base invaders illustration. Køkkenrullen, No. 3, 1984.
No information about artist.
Department of the Air Force: Headquarters [501st?] Security Police Group, New York: Year End Report. 5 December 1985. Fredsavisen, No. 5, 1986 p. 4.
See also: Campbell, Duncan: Pink card that allows troops to kill.
New Statesman. Vol. 108. No. 2804, December 14, 1984 p. 4.]

Anne Lee: 'Although this letter is not classified secret it is not intended for public circulation. It can have been obtained only from inside the base.

APO = American Post Office. Each base has its own depot number. Until the law was changed in 1999 (Statutory Instrument 1999/1736) the APO was unlawful, as only the Royal Mail was permitted to distribute mail.'

With this information accessible in Denmark I thought it was about time that the good history of the women’s peace camps at Greenham Common was told to the Danish students. That many women took courage to protest against some of the most deadly weapons in world history; and that these women played an important role in the complete disarmament of a foreign nuclear weapons base. Some will argue that political decisions, international treaties, the ending of the cold war and the peace dividend made the complete disarmament of Greenham Common possible. But if the women hadn’t been there protesting all the time, showing the folly of the US and UK nuclear policy with their direct action against the fence and against the byelaws, the base might still have been here today; just like the rest of the many nuclear armed bases around the world who are here because no women made peace camps around them.

Some of the women at Greenham Common were great poets and very humours.

Comments and additional information about Greenham Common, other peace camps, the songs, authors, composers and protesters are welcome.

Thanks and credits

This publication of the Greenham Common songbook was inspired by my pen pall Anne Lee who asked, you don't wonna publish it, do you?

Many women could not stay at Greenham Common on a permanent or long-term basis. These women formed support groups. All over the world there were support groups raising funds, engaging in non-violent peace actions, e.g on 9th November 1983 102 peace camps were set up at the 102 US Bases in Britain.
The songs were collected at Greenham by Manchester Greenham Wimmin's Support Group and sold to raise funds for Greenham. I'm not sure of the title. This compilation is not a complete record. Some of the well-known songs are in the video film. Anne xx

Dear Holger,
Wow! I'd no idea that the songbook would generate so much interest! I thought it would scan? The copy I sent you is a photocopy of a photocopy, so poor quality. Fi and Glen still live at 42 St Hilda's Road, one of the addresses printed in the songbook. I'll contact them.
Somewhere I have got a tape and other bits 'n' bobs. I'll try to find as soon as possible. A lot of archive material went to museums, such as the Museum of Labour History in Manchester. Even the Imperial War Museum interviewed Helen John for the peace protest section.
Many Greenham women continue to be active in the peace movement, particularly focussed on Menwith Hill and Fylingdales US Bases and anti-Trident actions at Faslane and Aldersmaston.
Anne xx

Dear Holger
Thanks for your work. The song "Bridget Evans" on the Great Peace March CD was written by Judy Small of Australia in tribute to the Women of Greenham Common.
Peggy Seeger was also actively involved in support of the women there and has some great songs about it. She would also be a good contact for further information.
Of course you may link to my page. Thank you.
Best wishes,
Anne Feeney

Hello Holger Terp - Anne Feeney has forwarded your e-mail to me. I did indeed write a Greenham Common song, "Carry Greenham Home"; it became one of the anthems of the movement. It was indeed a moving time. its printed in my songbook and recorded on my CD 'Period Pieces'. Information on both of them on the website below. I mentioned Greenham Common events in another of my songs, "Woman on Wheels", also to be found on that same CD.
Let me know if this information is not sufficient. Yours sincerely, Peggy Seeger

Dear friends,
I would like to ask you, if I may use your Greenham Common poster in an article on GC I'm writing for the Danish Peace Academy?
That will be fine. Please let me know what more I can do to help.
John Low

Dear Friends,
Yes you can make a link. Glad you like the site and do reproduce any pictures you want.
The sculpture a life size bronze is now finished and sited in Cardiff city Hall. It was funded mainly by pensioners Trade uinionists and A money from the Frank Cousins TGWU peace prize. Donations from abroad too.You can get a free booklet about the art in City Hall including the sculpture from the city council M Munnery, Room 101, City Hall Cathays Park. Cardiff S Wales UK
Best wishes yours in peace Thalia Campbell.

Use of poster?
yes be good to see it peter
Peter Kennard.

Holger !
I do like this as:
A. Holloway is very near where I live.
I know a lot of women who have been in Holloway - Ippy at Peace News being just one of them.
Sybil Morrison also spent some 6 months in the place during ww2 - For speaking out against the war at speakers corner. The woman in the cell next to her was a German spy.
Martyn Lowe

Thanks for your e-mail. The Diggers' Song is actually called The World Turned Upside Down. I wrote the words & music & it is my copyright. I have recorded it on my compilation CD 'Rosselsongs', Fuse Records CFCD 001, & its also been recorded by numerous others. I'm happy for you to publish the words.
Very best wishes,
Leon Rosselson

HI JUST HAD ANOTHER LOOK AT YOUR SITE I should email you what you want but not very good on computers. So could I post you something or can you get what you want off the Web site? All best wishes Thalia Campbell

You mention You can't kill the Spirit on your website.

Dear Holger
I'm not sure who wrote this. It may have been Starhawk.
She also wrote:
She changes everything she touches
And everything she touches changes. Starhawk
Under the full moonlight we dance
was written by Jana Runnalls
Its a great website
with blessings

Dear Holger
What a wonderful project! Greenham Common was truly one of the heroic projects of our time. Of course you can use Mothers, Daughters Wives (and Bridget Evans, and the Festival of Light if you like – I also wrote both of those) – I love it when people use my songs – that’s what they’re for! And it’s lovely to be reminded of Denmark – I have spent many very happy times there at Tonder and Skagen as well as Copenhagen.
Warm regards
Judy Small

Hi Holger
I am happy for you to use my Greenham image - I am assuming you don't have a budget for photos, but a photo credit would be appreciated.
There are a lot of other Greenham images in my files so if you need anything else do let me know.
Good luck with your project. I visited both the links and they are excellent. Greenham was an amazing experience altogether, the songbook brought a lot of memories back to me, especially the sound of many many women singing 'You Can't Kill The Spirit' in the bible blackness of night while surrounded by a huge police force. I never forgot the strength of that sound. The police didn't know how to deal with them at all. Incidentally thank you for asking my permission - you'd be surprised how many people don't bother.
Kind regards

You are welcome to use the image as long as you give us a credit. If you want a better quality image we can email you a larger jpeg
pp WCML enquiries

Dear Holger,
Thanks for your mails about your Peace Camp Songbook. As for "Under the Full Moonlight Dance", it is written by an American woman called Karen Beth. I sang it at Greenham Common back in 1981 in the well-known feminist duo 'OVA' , introducing it as one of the most well-loved and well-known songs at the camp. We did record it on one of our albums back then, "Out of Bounds", but I have subsequently recorded it on one of my Goddess albums, "I Sing Her Praises":
here is the link to my music website:
Karen Beth's website:
Out of interest, "You can't kill the Spirit" was written by Naomi Littlebear.
"The River is Flower", as far as I know, is a traditional pagan chant - again, I didn't write it! I have recorded it on "Eye of the Womb":
The correct words are:
The river is flowing, flowing and growing
The river is flowing down to the sea
Mother earth carry me
Your child I will always be
Mother earth carry me
Down to the sea
The river is flowing, flowing and growing
The river is flowing down to the sea
Mother moon watch over me
Your child I will always be
Mother moon watch over me
Until I am free
If I can help any further, please don't hesitate to ask me. Good luck with all your fantastic efforts!
All the best,
Jana Runnalls

I never heard this song in the plural at Greenham or anywhere else. I have always heard it in the singular, "The river is flowing, flowing and growing etc." I didn't hear it at Greenham first actually. I heard it first in the early 1980s at women's land in New Mexico. We sang it at almost every solstice throughout the 80s and 90s. When I finally got to Greenham in the 1990s, we had a lot of songs in common. There had been a lot of cross-cultural fertilisation, with Greenham women traveling to various women's lands in the US bringing and learning songs and taking them back, and several land women going to Greenham and staying and bringing and learning songs to bring back. I was one of the latter, but there were many, many others.

Hi: Just wanted you to know that I am the author of "Full Moonlight Dance." You have the author as Jana Runnalls, and you also call it, "Under the Full Moonlight."
Can you please correct this?
Karen beth

Dear Holger:
What a wonderful web site on Greenham Common and women's peace camps. I have been working myself on women's peace camps from the 1980s. I've mostly studied the US camps, but this past summer in Scotland I gave a short paper on the utopian aspects of various peace camps around the world.
I will put a link to this site in the Peace Collection's web site. I will also send notice of the site to H-Peace, if you have not yet done so.
I have a couple of changes for you. I haven't looked at everything closely yet, but here are changes for song #10 "Down At Greenham on a Spree". The changes are all spelling ones.
Fifth verse, third line, although the idea of sinning in the rain is rather amusing, it should read:
"Laughing, dancing, singing in the rain,"
Sixth and last verse, third line:
the word "cas" should be spelled either "cus" or "cuz" it is a slang/shortening of the word because.
Great work, Wendy
Wendy E. Chmielewski, PhD.
Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Dear Holger,
This is a great website. I've been looking to see what is out on the internet about Greenham. I lived there for 6 month in 1986. its great to see songs and other historical information on your site. I also lived for a year, and was involved for longer, at the Seneca Women's Peace Encampment in the US. Now I am involved with a newly formed Seneca Peace Camp Herstory Project. We have a blog at:
If you are able to, can you please post the blog link on your site? Seneca was inspired by the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp and there were many Greenham women at Seneca and Seneca Women at Greenham. Thank you.
I have some info about a song from Seneca.
Song # 79 "Revolution Talk" words and music were written in 1985 at the Seneca Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice by The Average Dyke Band. The ADB was made up of various women who lived at the Seneca women's peace camp in the mid '80's.
Song # 6 Out of the Darkness
written by Frankie Armstrong for Greenham Common march.
Thanks again,
Robin Earth

We've just been searching online trying to find a harmony acappella version of the song "Tomorrow" (song as featured on your Danish Peace Academy site). No luck so far - Might you know of one anywhere? If so we'd be very grateful to hear about it - we want to sing it at a party for peace here in Leicester, UK.
We noticed at the bottom of your entry on "Tomorrow" that you had no info on author etc. We have a copy of the Workers Music Association book "Peace Songs" (ed. J.Jordan, 1989). This book says that "Tomorrow" was written by Peggy Seeger as part of her defence in court when she was charged with obstruction for protesting about the arrival of Cruise missiles. Hope this info is helpful.
Best Wishes,
Rowan & Willow Songsmith

Dear Mr. Terp,
This is in response to your inquiry (NWCTC 06-00590) regarding records of the [US] Department of State mentioning atomic weapon accidents. Your request has also been sent to our Modern Military Textual Reference branch, you can expect to hear directly from them.
I searched the State Department's Central Decimal File (the main filing system for State records) under the decimal heading 711.5611, the decimal covering American atomic weapons. For the time period in question, there was no mention in the documents about the accident at Greenham Common.
There is, however, considerable documentation on British concerns over potential nuclear accidents, including clippings from British newspapers. The portions of the files containing such information are about one hundred pages. The articles do not specifically mention Greenham Common, they focus on British reaction to an accident that had occurred in South Carolina.
Archivist, Civilian Records
Textual Archives Services Division

Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 10:04 PM
Dear Webmaster,
Re: Inclusion in SOSIG of:
This is to inform you that your Web site has been included in SOSIG (Social Science Information Gateway):
A link, summary and details of the Web site will be available for viewing from SOSIG from 8am tomorrow morning (GMT) at the address below:

Dear Holger,
Please let me know your posting address so that I can send you out the permissions contract
Rosemary Parkhill
Editorial Assistant
New Statesman

Thank you so much for sending this, it is a marvelous contribution to the history of women's role in the peace movement. I will add a link to this site to our webpage. Please keep me on your mailing list.
Lucinda Marshall, founder
Feminist Peace Network

Hi, a friend just drew my attention to your website.
The Layabout Song (beginning 'Down' not 'Here') at Greenham on a spree' was written by me and if you would like the correct version -I don't mind seeing it in print, but I would like it to be reproduced correctly, - I can provide you with it - please contact me.
And I also wrote Which Side are you on.
Both songs could be sung by me as they are meant to be - most people get the notation wrong. I would send a recording to you.
My songs were written for 'us' at the camp but they were bound to be shared. That's ok.
Song 63, Your Children are not your children' was first put to music and sung by Sweet Honey in the Rock, an American acapello goup. Words are by Kahil Gibran. Song number 75, On this Mountain, is from a song by Holly Near.
Happy to help. Hope to hear from you soon.
Still alive and kickin'.
Gillian Booth
ps there has been quite a bit of 'cleaning up' and censorship - that will never do!!

Dear Holger,
When I was a teenager I would go to Greenham Common with my mother or with friends during the school holidays.
Many years ago I lost a precious record called Women Sing For Peace, with songs from the Greenham Songbook sung on it by the women who had written the songs, including Carry Greenham Home and Four Minutes to Midnight. I found your site, which is beautiful by the way and an amazing resource, and realised that the recordings you link to on the site are from the same album.
Thank you.
Clare Cochrane

Hello Holger,
Today my mother remembered a song that they used to sing in the police cells and I remember a slightly different version from her (I later lived at Faslane Peace camp in Scotland).
I can't remember the title but my mother thinks it is
'Police cell song'?
The version we sang at Faslane peace camp goes like this:
You can't forbid nearly everything
You can't forbid me to sing
You can't forbid the sun to shine
And you can't shut my mouth when I speak.

My mother remembers it as this:
You can't forbid nearly everything
You can forbid me to sing
You can forbid me to act
but you can't close my mind when I think.
As I am not classicaly trained in music I can't give you the notes but we could perhaps sing it and send a copy?
I am sure Anne Lee and Helen John and other women must remember it?
Anyway, lots of sunshine

It was me who wrote the song 'Sarah's Song' when I was arrested the first time at Greenham and was in a Newbury police cell. I was being held on my own in one cell with others, including Sarah being held next door. We were shouting to each other and the police was getting ver fed up - not allowing us to go to the toilet, not feeding us for hours, constantly telling us to shut up. So I started making up this song and kept singing it with the women in the other cell quickly catching on and repeating it. I also memorialised the song on the wall of the police cell on that day with a pen I had managed to smuggle into the cell - however, the next time I was in that same cell it had been painted over.
Sometime later Jane L. and myself sang it at a peace rally in Copenhagen we has been invited to attend.
'We are the witches' was composed and written by myself, Beatrice and Sue Popper and I believe the input of one or two other women during a night outside the main gate when we were waiting for a convoy of cruise missiles to be driven out of the base. Sitting on an old sofa outside all night we wrote this song.
How fantastic to see this site with all the songs kept in this way!

Dear Holger,
Just came across your website asking for Greenham Songbooks etc. I lived there for about 6 months and did write down and number of Rebecca's songs. I also have a number of peace song books from the anti-nuclear movement in the USA. Can I send you copies for your project?
alison bailey
Director, Women's Studies Program
Illinois State University

Dear Holger,
I saw "Carry Greenham Home", the documentary on the women of Greenham Common, long ago and used part of it (VHS) in a documentary for peace groups before 1989!
I remember well that Peggy Seeger sang the song "Carry Greenham Home" in a breathtaking way - it is a different version to that you just published.
This is what I would like to inform you about. The best would be to publish the song in that version and the documentary as mpg.file.
I keep a VHS copy of the documentary "somewhere", but have no technical means to transform it into a mgp.file which shoul be done.
I addition, today I was informed about a new 2006 campaign against nukes at Faslane, Scotland.
Love, Christian Bartolf

Did Greenham make a difference?
We’re asking everyone to answer the question ‘did Greenham make a difference?’ - I know it is not a simple question and it means different things to different people … some answer with regard to their own personal experiences, some in terms of international policy (and everything in between) … it is all relevant and worthwhile. In any case, could you please try to answer in a short paragraph (or few) and email it back to me.
(Within the next week or two would be much appreciated, if at all possible.)
Do attach one picture if you like (i.e. of yourself at Greenham, or of some Greenham event that is related to your answer…).
In addition, if any children/grandchildren/friends/family who have not yet been in touch with me would also like to respond to this question, I’d be happy to hear their thoughts…
These testimonials will be used as part of the online Greenham project, and may also form part of an article in the paper (not yet confirmed).
Please feel free to email/call me on the number below with any questions/concerns.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Best wishes
Guardian Films
119 Farringdon Road
London EC1R 3ER
Tel: 020 7131 7112

Stead, Jean: Greenham Common 25 years on.
The Guardian, 2006. 12 pp. and

Remembering common bonds
Audio: What did the women's protest against nuclear weapons at Greenham Common achieve?,,31200-greenham_260806_1100,00.html

Hi Holger
Thanks for this - it's really wonderful! Your site looks great, well done. I was not able to access everything (i.e. couldn't hear recordings of songs, or see INF treaty), but what I did see was great. I'd very much like to see what you have on the INF treaty...
It is a long way to come especially, but if you're planning to be in London anytime between Sept 6 - Oct 20, please do come to our Greenham exhibition. Our project won't be online before Oct, but I'll be sure to keep you posted - sure we'll email before then.
Thanks again.

Dear Holger
Congratulations on all that you have done to memorialise Greenham Common. The last lot of pictures are a great addition to all the other resources you have collected.
May we add your site to our LINKS page on our website?
( )
We should have asked you before this! It is simpler if researchers can go straight to your site. If you agree, what is the best URL to give for researchers to use to access your Greenham site?
Best wishes
Jane Hargreaves

Dear Holger,
This briefly to say how much I appreciate your work in rescuing some of the marvellous songs which were so integral to the Greenham Women’s protest, were original, often funny and made singers of us all. As you may know by now, for the past 5 years I have been writing the story of how the peace-camp began, and of our visit to the USSR at the height of the Cold War where we expressed solidarity with the independent peaceniks, “Moscow Group for Trust”. My book is now about to be published by the small Welsh press “Honno”, it is called “Walking to Greenham: How the peace-camp began and how the Cold war ended”. I am wondering if the organiser of the exhibition of the peace-camp at the offices of the Guardian newspaper in London, have any recordings to play of the Greenham songs. Do you have any of this material on cd? The organiser is called Gareth James, has he been In touch with you?
Regards and thank you for all your work and dedication these years, without people like you all this marvellous non-violent history of effective protest would leave no trace.
Ann Pettitt.

Dear Holger Terp
Thank you so much for including CAAB by sending us your interesting work about GC. Anni and I were both profoundly afffected by our experiences at GC as were hundreds of other women - having been arrested many many times during those years etc etc - the campaign has continued since then. CAAB works to bring public scrutiny and awareness to what the US Visiting Forces are doing here and round the world - a mammoth task indeed!
Very sadly Anni Rainbow's eldest son Matthew was killed in Iraq on 1 August - he was serving in the British Army. It was utterly pointless and a terrible waste as are all the other cilivians and soldiers who have been killed or injured during this terrible illegal war.
Your sincerely
Lindis Percy and Anni Rainbow
Joint Co-ordinators

Dear Holger Terp:
I was forwarded the information below regarding your documenting of Greenham common. I've been trying to recover information about the camp for several years and I hope we can assist each other.
My name is Daniel Kinch. I'm a New York based playwright. My plays are about issues of social justice and peace.. In 1999, I toured one of my plays through the Netherlands and Belgium in support of the Hague Appeal for Peace. There is some detail on my website Sadly, the American taste for messages of peace went away after 9/11. Most of the theatres I was working with are gone now, victims of rising real estate prices and an indifferent public.
For several years now, I've been attempting to compile a series of plays based on women peace activists. These are all based on the first-person accounts of women engaged in work against militarism and war. I've premiered two of the monologues here in NY. One was based on the testimony of Dr. Rosalie Bertell on the worldwide health effects of the fallout from nuclear testing and warfare. A second monologue was from one of the refugees from the US nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands.
As far as Greenham goes, I'm sure you're already aware of the work of Sasha Rosenneil (Disarming Patriarchy, Common Women, Uncommon Practices). I also found Lynne Jone's Keeping the Peace (a set of essays by women about anti-war activities) quite helpful. I did correspond with someone who was at Greenham for two or three years. I also found out that an old family friend was an activist at Greenham for a couple of years. But I was never able to get my hands on video or tape records of the period. There was a woman who was selling video and audio tape of the Greenham common period online, but I was never able to get in touch with her.
You also know that Petra Kelly visited Greenham Common on a number of occasions. I am working with a young woman doing her graduate thesis on the long-term effects of Kelly and the Greens, and I also wrote a play about Kelly in the early 1990's. This is not to say that Kelly's visit was important in and of itself; rather, it seems to me that it was necessary for Kelly and Die Grunen to acknowledge the pioneers of Greenham, who had paved the way for the European rejection of US nukes. That consensus in public opinion helped to raise early consciousness of the Green Party's 'anti-politics'.
Also, I don't think you can have the CAAB group at Menwith Hill absent the Greenham protests.
Let me know if I can be of assistance. In the meantime, I wish you success with your project, and peace in un-peaceful times.
Dan Kinch

Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp
by Sarah Meyer
It is the 25th anniversary of Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp. We lived outside the US base near Newbury, Berkshire, where US Cruise missiles were to be installed. Sometimes there were two or three dozen of us. Sometimes there many more women, especially on weekends and holidays. The first big demonstration, 'Embrace the Base,' brought thousands of women to Greenham. Then Greenham became international. All Greenham gates had women living nearby. We were supported by donations of money, food and blankets. The postmen bent under the bags of post we received. Writing return letters in the mud and rain in the winter by our fire was not easy.
more at
Thank you,

Ref Petra Kelly,
Petra Kelly was at the END meeting in Berlin which a few of the Greenham women attended in 1983. She and a friend went to East Berlin, and were arrested for, as I remember, flying a peace flag. It was, I believe, Bruce Kent, then Chair of CND UK, who got her released.
Greenham women turned the END Berlin meeting upside down. I doubt if that is mentioned anywhere. Neither CND nor END could cope with us. We didn't like rows of chairs with men dominating microphones and talking forever, nor did we like all the speakers sitting in a line behind desks on the platform. So we discussed the situation, and then rebelled. Fun. What is most fun is seeing disapproval and/or disbelief in other peoples' eyes. I still cherish this. Keeps me alive, really ... Some VIP delegate wanted me to go to East Berlin with him for the night. We had a Consensus Meeting about this. The women decided I shouldn't go. The look on his face when the Greenham women told him of their joint decision was PRICEless. Makes me laugh remembering this ...
Another time I met Petra Kelly was when some Greenham women went to Sweden for a meeting. We shared big hugs. She put on a Greenham Common headband. I made and sold these headbands to help pay for the petrol for the Greenham Rainbow Bus.
Petra Kelly was a beautiful woman, and with very extraordinary energy.
Sarah Meyer

I ran across your website while searching for articles on the Puget Sound Women's Peace Camp. Diana Siemens, whose photograph appears on a flyer on your site, was my dearest friend. Sadly, Diana passed away recently. We have set up a tribute website in her honor:
Losing Diana is not only a personal loss for me, losing her is a loss to all humankind who strive for peace.
Patty Dodd

Thanks for your great website
Just letting you know here that the song Who Are the Witches was written by an Australian man Phil Day. Our womens song group here in Sydney, Australia sing it. It is our theme song. We are part of the Older Womens Network (OWN) but we call our singing group the Witches of Wisdom.
I was looking for the tune to Take the Toys from the Boys as we want to sing that one too.
If you can help us with the music that would be great thanks,
All the best,
Margaret Bradford

I’ve just stumbled across your excellent Greenham site and was looking at the songs in the songbook. There is one – no.51 called We Don’t Torture unattributed. This song was on The Au Pairs first album – they were a punk feminist band from the late 70’s in the UK. There’s a video with it here on you tube
The song was called Armagh. I didn’t know it was also associated with Greenham.
Thanks again for making all that part of our history available on the web
In solidarity
Penny Russell

Dear friends,
First of all, congratulations for your work! and hello from Madrid, Spain.
Months (or perhaps a year) ago, we sent you information about some of the pictures you have published here: and whose captions say “artist unknown”.
We knew who did them, because one of us lived at Blue Gate between 1989 and 1992, and thought you would be happy to get the information, considering names and other info is mentioned whenever you knew it.
We believe you did not get our email, so we are trying again!
Please, if you get this, reply to us, just to let us know you got our email, OK? Thanks!
The Spring 1990 newsletter cover was designed and drawn by Siss Cosmic, Louisa was her real name, an amazing young woman. She was living at Blue Gate, like all of us. At that time, only Blue and Yellow remained open.
Newsletter Nov 1990: Artist, Siss Intense, called michelle, from Spain (a volunteer at WRI in London when not at camp). She created this webpage for us:
She’s just published a story about Blue Gate in those years, which we hopefully will try to translate into English.
Other women whose written work is shown on your site are: Emma, Dido (from English-speaking Canada), Evelyn, Nathalie (from French-speaking Canada), Paz (from Spain)…
Newsletter March 1994 – Cover by Patricia, a cartonista from Zaragoza, Spain, who went for a visit.


16 Aug 06


600 Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6424

SUBJECT: Greenham Common 1958 (Your 12 June 2006 e-mail)
Dear Holger Terp,
As promised, I have further researched your request for information on the Women's Peace Camps at Greenham Common. I have enclosed an extract from one of our unit histories that has quite a bit of information.
Another of our documents, K-WG-501-HI, V. 7, dated July 1982 thru Mar 1983 (a volume in the same history timeframe, but a different volume) also contains information. That volume has too much for me to copy, so I will send you an order form for 16mm microfilm. If you are interested, the order form will explain how to order. I have also enclosed the abstract for the document to give you an ide a what else is there.
There are some photographs within the documents, and if you are interested in one of two, let me know. I can scan at high resolution and send to you. We would just like acknowledgement.
Also, I viewed your website. VERY impressive. What a great project!
I hope this helps with your research.

1 JULY 1982 THROUGH 31 MARCH 1983
Undated. pp. 121-134

SmartSearch Dacument Print.

Page 1 af 1

Main: WING/0501/TACTICAL MISSILE RECTYPE: HISTORY CaU: K-WG-501-HI Y.7 IRIS Number: 1054042 BegDate: 07-01-1982 EndDate: 03-31-1983 PubDate: Author:
DateRcvd: AddDate: 11-07-1984 IRISRef:
AccNotes: REF 01054036 OldAcc: AccsnrID: DateAccs: Reel: 0000037506 Frame:
241 FrameLast: O DateScnd: DateMflm: ScanrID: IndexID: C2 QCID:
https://hrairis2/scripts/rwisapi.dl1/@ss.env?CQ_ SESSION_KEY =GBQRAGHZMKIB&C... 8/16/2006

Re: NWCTM06-01390
Dear Ms Terp:
This is in response to your November 14, 2005, e-mail inquiry.
US Air Force accident reports dating back to 1939 are in the custody of the US Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA). If you have not already done so, you should start your research by requesting a copy of the report relating to the crash of the C-47 aircraft at the airfield in Greenham Common. Following is a link to the AFHRA website:
Ken Schlessinger
Modern Military Records
National Archives at College Park
8601 Adelphi Rd
College Park, MD 20740-6001

US Air Force aircraft accident reports (including for "broken arrow" incidents) are in the custody of the Air Force Historical Research Agency, 600 Chennault Circle, Maxwell AFB AL 36112
This question was submitted via the Main Inquire Form by a user of the National Archives web site.

Dear Holger Terp,
I found one document in our published collections that might be of interest. I have put its link below:
It refers to a February 27, 1958 alleged accident; however, you will see the wording is very careful in the memorandum. We do not have any references to the Greenham Common broken arrow incident in our nonpublished collections.
I recommend that you contact the U.S. National Archives (NARA). NARA has the U.S. Air Force records up to 1976 / 1977. An inquiry can be emailed to an Archivist at:
Searching on the Internet, I found a detailed list of broken arrow incidents prepared by the U.S. Military in 1981. The link is
However, I could find no mention of the Greenham Common accident.
Thank you for your interest in the collections of the National Security Archive. I hope some of this information will be helpful.
Mary Curry, Public Service Coordinator and Research Associate

600 Chennault Circle Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6424
SUBJECT: Broken Arrow at Greenham Common, 28 Feb 1958
Mr. Terp,
I have researched your request for materials about a broken arrow at Greenham Common on 2 Feb 1958. We have no information on this. Your best option is to go to Department of Energy website: li you can find no information on the site there is a "request" option to mail for information on this subject.
My best to you on your research,

Department of Energy
Washington, DC 20585
December 12,2005
Mr. Holger Terp
Strandbyparken 4, 1 tv.
2650 Hvidovre
Re: F2005-00757
Dear Mr. Terp:
This is in response to the request for information that you sent to the Department of Energy (DOE) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552. You asked for reports that relate to a broken arrow or other accident at Greenham Common in England in February 1958.
The request has not been controlled as a FOIA request and assigned to a program office to process because it does not address the requirements of a proper FOIA request as stated at Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 1004.4.
The DOE regulation that implements the FOIA provides, at 10 CFR 1004.4(e), that "a request shall inc1ude (1) an assurance to pay whatever fees will be assessed in accordance with 10 CFR 1004.9, (2) an assurance to pay those fees not exceeding some specified dollar amount, or (3) a request for a waiver or reduction of fees." The regulation further states that no request will be deemed to have been received until (1) some valid assurance of willingness to bear fees anticipated to be associated with the processing of the request, or (2) a specific request for a waiver or reduction of fees has been stated.
In your correspondence you did not provide an assurance to pay fees associated with the processing of the request or request a waiver of processing fees.
The FOIA provides that ”[d]ocuments shall be furnished without any charge or at a charge reduced below the fees established under c1ause (ii) if disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.” See 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(iii).
The DOE has implemented this statutory standard for fee waivers or reduced fees in its FOIA regulation at 10 CFR 1004.9(a)(8). If you request a waiver or reduction of fees, please address the criteria established in that section. The regulation sets forth the following factors that are considered by the agency in applying the criteria:

  1. The subject of the request: Whether the subject of the requested records concerns "the operations or activities of the government;"
  2. The informative value of the information to be disclosed: Whether the disclosure is "likely to contribute" to an understanding of government operations or activities;
  3. The contribution to an understanding by the general public of the subject likely to result from disclosure taking into account your ability and intent to disseminate the information to the public in a form that can further understanding of the subject matter; and
  4. The significance of the contribution to public understanding: Whether the disclosure is likely to contribute "significantly" to public understanding of government operations or activities.

Please provide a statement that you agree to pay fees that may be incurred to process the request, that stipulates an amount you are willing to pay, or that requests a specific waiver or reduction of fees and addresses the factors above. You should provide this information to Ms. Joan Ogbazghi of this office by January 4, 2006. If she does not hear from you or receive the requested information by that date, no further agency action will be taken on this request.
The above referenced number has been assigned to the request and you should refer to it in the response to this office.
Thank you for your interest in the DOE. If you have any questions about this correspondence, you may contact Ms. Ogbazghi for assistance at She also can be reached on (202) 586-3595.
Abel Lopez
FOIA/Privacy Act Group
Office of the Executive Secretariat

Dear Mr Terp
Thank you for contacting The National Archives of the United Kingdom
The following sources may be of interest:
DEFE 24/1204 US Air Force and US Navy presence in the UK: proposal to reactivate RAF Greenham Common as a second UK base for KC-135 tankers 1976 Jan 01 - 1978 Dec 31
DEFE 24/1287 United States Air Force (USAF) and United States Navy (USN) presence in the UK: selection of a second base for KC 135 tanker aircraft (Greenham Common or Fairford); Parliamentary statements and correspondence 1977 Jan 01 - 1978 Dec 31
There is other material related to Greenham Common airfield (e.g.: AIR 2, AIR 19, AIR 29) but this pre-dates the 1970s.
John Cassidy
Remote Enquiries Duty Officer
The National Archives of the United Kingdom.

Dear Holger Terp,
I believe you may have the wrong accident, the Greenham Common accident that occurred in 1958 resulted in the deaths of 2 people who were crushed by a falling fuel tank dropped by a Schilling Air Base (Salinas, Kansas) bomber.
The information of these two men follow below
Airmen 1st Class Richard Francis Goguen
Staff Sargent Carter J. Pauley
These two men were not pilots but most likely mechanics and ground crew members.
You might be more interested in the 28 July 1956 incident at Lakenheath where a Lincoln bomber skidded off the runway into nuclear weapon storage igloos. The names of the crew were...
Capt. Russell R. Bowling
Lt. Carroll W. Kalberg
Lt. Michael J. Selmo
Tsgt. John Ulrich
If you need any more information I would be happy to help you.
Rob Branting

Sorry to have taken so long to respond, computer has been acting funny.
The reports you sent me are fascinating but unfortunately I don't have anymore information on the incident. No veterans I've talked to speak of the incident and all thats in the newspapers is about the two airmen.
Your notes are put together well and if you are ever able to find out information from government sources about this incident I'd like to hear about it. The website has quite a few incidents I have not heard of (from government, private organization or other American websites).
It is very interesting to see that the fire had blazed for so long, I would think a nuclear-armed aircraft would be quickly extingished (there have been many, many B-47 accidents in the United States)
My advice would be to research about the B-47s there, I'm not sure if this burning B-47E would be a Smoky Hill (later Schilling AFB) 310th aircraft or a Lincoln one (98th or 307th).
A good idea is to research the tail numbers (aircraft identification) of the B-47s and try and track down their history (such as was this aircraft reported as being crashed? or was it retired, or unknown?). If you might locate this aircraft's tail number you may be able to find more information about its history. Perhaps requesting wing histories from the AFHRA could help as well.
It looks as if you have encountered a lot of buracracy in your search and hope you are able to overcome it. I wish you the best of luck in your search and sorry I couldn't of been more help.
Rob Branting

US Nukes for Newbury

Protest against 'the most massive NATO exercise ever',
September 20 -30, 1984. Artist unknown.
le cruise. le bulletin de CO.DE.N.E. No. 2, 1983.
Le cruise. Le bulletin de CO.DE.N.E. No. 2, 1983.
Campbell, Duncan: Target Britain. New Statesman. Vol. 100, October 31, 1980 p. 7. © New Statesman. All rights reserved.
© New Statesman. All rights reserved.
Ann Pettitt
Ann Pettitt 2005.
Early camp pictures. Source: US Airforce, August 2006.
Thanks to Anne O'Connor, AFHRA/RSA
See also:
South Oxfordshire Peace Campaign News Wallingford, 1093 No. 2 p. 2.
Article source:
South Oxfordshire Peace Campaign News Wallingford, 1093 No. 2 logo
[Welcome women. Introduction folder.]
No information about title, author, publisher,
artist and year of publication. Midsummer 1983[?]
Sanity. No. 2, February 1983.
Sanity. No. 6, June 1983.
Hands off Greenham. A4 poster 1983. In the files of Holger Terp.
Women's Banners / Published and edited by Thalia Campbell.
Proud Washing Line in Wales 1985 by Thalia Campbell.
Women's Banners / Published and edited by Thalia Campbell.
Proud Washing Line in Wales 1985 by Thalia Campbell.
Ploughshares : News from Cristian CND, May 1984.
Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp: Yellow Gate
Yellow Gate. See: The queer archaeology of Green Gate: interpreting contested space at Greenham Common Airbase by John Schofield and Mike Anderton. In: World Archaeology Vol. 32(2): 236–251 Queer Archaeologies. 2000 Taylor & Francis, ISSN 0043-8243 print/1470-1375 online
Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp: Violet Gate
Violet Gate.
Unsourced. In: Socialistisk weekend, Vol 2, No. 10, March 13, 1987 p. 11.
Bullettino del CUDIP, Comitato Unitario per il Disarmo e la Pace, No. 00, [February] 1983.
The peace camp at Comiso in Italy published its own newsletter Bullettino del CUDIP from Comitato Unitario per il Disarmo e la Pace. Here is the frontpage of No. 00, [February] 1983.
Peace Camp News. Undated. Puget Sound Women's Peace Camp. Interview with Diana Siemens.
A Cruise Missile launcher at Greenham Common
Peace News, No. 2294, June 1987
END Papars No. 8, 1984.
Greenham and the law - a brief history. New Statesman. Vol. 105, 1982. No. 2713 p. 9. © New Statesman. All rights reserved.
© New Statesman. All rights reserved.
© New Statesman. All rights reserved.
© New Statesman. All rights reserved.
Daily Express, March 17, 1984.
After the eviction. New Statesman. Vol. 106. 1983. No. 2737 p. 6. © New Statesman. All rights reserved.
© New Statesman. All rights reserved.
A Greenham Song Patchwork.
London Greenham Women, 1984, 2 pp.
There is also a two pages songbook with 34 Greenham Common and other peace and women songs from the German Frauenwiderstandscamp Hunsrück, the summer of 1984.
We have a Dream, 1984
We have a Dream flyer, 1984
We have a Dream, 1984
United Kingdom and Iceland Air Bases World War II
When it [in 1951] was annaunced that Greenham Common was to become a permanent US Air Force base there was massive local opposition
Source: Newbury Weekly News
Map source: The Greenham Factor, undated
Picture source: © marc marnie 1983.
To restore land ...
Criminal damage and eviction at Greenham Common, 1989.

The NATO "Double-Track" Decision on Theatre Nuclear Forces
Documents Special Meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers Brussels, 12 December 1979
1. At a special meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers in Brussels on 12 December 1979.
2. Ministers recalled the May 1978 Summit where governments expressed the political resolve to meet the challenges to their security posed by the continuing momentum of the Warsaw Pact military build-up.
7. Accordingly Ministers have decided to modernise NATO's LRTNF by the deployment in Europe of US ground-launched systems comprising 108 Pershing II launchers, which would replace existing US Pershing I-A, and 464 Ground-Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCM), all with single warheads. All the nations currently participating in the integrated defence structure will participate in the programme: the missiles will be stationed in selected countries and certain support costs will be met through NATO's existing common funding arrangements.
The programme will not increase NATO's reliance upon nuclear weapons. In this connection, Ministers agreed that as an integral part of TNF modernisation, 1,000 US nuclear warheads will be withdrawn from Europe as soon as feasible. Further, Ministers decided that the 572 LRTNF warheads should be accommodated within that reduced level, which necessarily implies a numerical shift of emphasis away from warheads for delivery systems of other types and shorter ranges In addition they noted with satisfaction that the Nuclear Planning Group is undertaking an examination of the precise nature, scope and basis of the adjustments resulting from the LRTNF deployment and their possible implications for the balance of roles and systems in NATO's nuclear armoury as a whole. This examination will form the basis of a substantive report to NPG Ministers in the Autumn of 1980.
11. The Ministers have decided to pursue these two parallel and complementary approaches in order to avert an arms race in Europe caused by the Soviet TNF build-up, yet preserve the viability of NATO's strategy of deterrence and defence and thus maintain the security of its member States.
A modernisation decision, including a commitment to deployments, is necessary to meet NATO's deterrence and defence needs, to provide a credible response to unilateral Soviet TNF deployments, and to provide the foundation for the pursuit of serious negotiations on TNF.

Though it apparently was a common NATO decision the US control of the Cruise and Pershing II missiles in Europe was absolute.

[Source: Rentoul, John: US control of cruise to be made absolute.
New Statesman. Vol 106 1983. No. 2746 p. 4.]

The US General Dynamics/McDonnell Douglas BGM-109G Gryphon Ground Launched Cruise Missile replaced nothing.

The first part of the redevelopment of Greenham Common was to cost £50 million, roughly 40% of which came from NATO infrastructure funds.

On June 17th 1980, the British Government announced that Greenham Common and RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire would be the two GLCM bases in Britain. Greenham Common would also be the very first base in Europe to receive its first flight of 16 missiles in late 1983. Molesworth had also been a USAF base during the 1950s and in WW2. NATO aimed to have the first missiles operational at Greenham and Comiso in Sicily, Italy by December 1983.

Time Vol. 116. No. 3 p. 9. July 21, 1980:

The Newbury area (pop. 121,400) near Greenham Common is sure to become a focus of protest. Street meetings and leaflet mailings, even a series of "music against missiles" concerts are being planned. Says Mrs. Joan Ruddock, a Labor candidate in last year's election and the leader of the local opposition: "The protest is just starting; it is going to be very big."

But the government's decision to place the missiles in two Tory-dominated areas seems to be paying off, and town opposition is hardly intense at this point. "Nobody would say, 'Please may we have them,'" admits Reginald Stubberfield, the Conservative chairman of the Newbury District Council, "but we have our obligations to NATO." Newbury residents also appear to be more resigned than most Britons to the idea of nuclear hazard: Harwell, Britain's atomic research center, and Aldermaston, the atomic-weapons research center, are situated within 14 miles of the town. "We've got so many nasties anyway," a Newbury housewife told TIME Correspondent Eric Amfitheatrof, "that another is not going to make all that much difference." Added a pub owner, "If they are going to go bloody bang, it doesn't matter where they are."

[Illusration source: le cruise. Le bulletin de CO.DE.N.E. No. 2, 1983.]

[Specal report: Thinking the unthinkable. Newsweek, October 5, 1981 pp. 24-31.]

Greenham's boys with the black stuff

By Fran De'ath. Sanity, June 1983 p.5

I spent February and March ofthis year picketing the main works gate at Greenham Common. I soon discovered that one firm in particular was making a lot of money out of the building work. Tarmac Ltd had been awarded a twelve and a half million pound contract to build the Cruise silos.
A group of campaigners decided to launch a campaign against Tarmac. It was a way of involving people in their home towns and even sitting at home writing letters.
Since then the anti-Tarmac action has gathered momentum. There have been pickets at Tarmac offices in London and Wolverhampton; two pickets at sites in Wales during visits by the Chairman of the Board and a roadside demonstration at a Tarrnac site in Bristol organised by Women Oppose the Nuclear Threat...

On July 1, 1982, USAF's 501st Tactical Missile Wing was activated at RAF Greenham Common in Great Britain.
[Source: Grier, Peter: The Short, Happy Life of the Glick-Em. Air Force Magazine Online, July 2002 Vol. 85, No. 07. ]

15 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment
15 Squadron RAF Regiment was formed on 1 June 1946.
In September 1982, the Squadron was formally declared operational as a light armour squadron and shortly after began re-training in the IS role for duty in Northern Ireland from January to May 1983.
After returning from Northern Ireland, the Squadron moved to RAF Hullavington in June 1983. In July 1983 the Squadron was deployed at short notice to RAF Greenham Common as part of the forces in support of Operation ROUST. This involved the physical security of RAF Greenham Common as it was threatened by anti-nuclear activists. This continued as a commitment until 1985.
[Source: ]

The soldiers of RAF Greenham Common and RAF Welford published the magazine the Common Crier, 1982-.

Greenham had the longest military runway in Europe.
[Source: Newbury Weekley News, January 16, 1992.]

At the same time the US military bases and installations in the UK increased so in 1984 there were 135 of them in the UK.
[Source: Campbell, Duncan: Target Britain. New Statesman. Vol. 100, October 31, 1980 pp. 6-9.]
Campbell, Duncan: US military bases and facilities in Britain. New Statesman. Vol. 107, April 13, 1984 pp. 10-11.

The Cruise missiles at Greenham Common were deactivated in 1991.


Peace News No. 2125. July 25, 1980

Cito reports: The actions against the Cruise Missiles continued on July 20 when 150 people walked the three and a half miles from Newbury to Greenham Common airbase, Berkshire, for a picnic outside the main gate. This was the first action at Greenham Common since the announcement [On June 17th 1980] of the plans to site 96 Cruise Missiles there, with several more actions planned.

The centrepiece of the event was the handing in, by the kids on the walk, of a letter to the men (we decided there probably weren't any women on active service there) of the base stating our opposition to Cruise missiles and our intention to take all nonviolent steps necessary to prevent their installation. This was signed by all most all of those present, with a large number of personal comments added.

Those at Greenham ranged from punks to pensioners and a good time was had by all. We recommend everyone to organise a picnic outside their nearest nuclear horror. Most of them have convenient large villages nearby and its an excellent opportunity to reach people. (We got publicity in places we wouldn't normally have dreamed of.)

A sponsored vigil will take place at Greenham Common from 8.14am August 6 to 5pm August 9 to commemorate the dropping of the atom bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Details from Tony Talbot, tel Oxford 724315.

On September 21 [1980] there will be a large demonstration outside the base. Contact: Acorn, The Emporium, Merchants Place, Reading for details of the picnic and Newbury Campaign Against the Missiles, 9 Connaught Road, Newbury, for the growing campaign at Greenham.

Hiroshima Day, 1980

[Peace News for nonviolent revolution 22 August 1980 3]


Last year [1979], in commemoration of the dropping of the Bomb on Hiroshima, a writer lamented on the back cover of Peace News that he would yet again be "one of a pitifully small group on a vigil in a main street". This year, thousands of people all over the country added their silence to the memory of the people who died and are still dying from the effects of the Bomb. The following reports convey the breadth of activity that took place activity that expressed itself as protest against the new generation of nuclear weapons as well as the memory of 35 years ago.


Meg reports: We held a 75 hour vigil outside the entrance to RAF Greenham Common, to commemorate the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and to protest against the proposed use of this base as home site for part of "our share" of Cruise Missiles. A camp was set up on a small triangle of MoD grass beside the main entrance to the base and the busy Newbury to Basingstoke road.

The vigil began at 8.13 am on Wednesday August 6 and continued until 11.02 on Saturday August 9. We formed a circle at thirteen minutes past the hour throughout the day and well into the night, and sang songs, read and kept silence, and the vigil ended with a two hour session of songs, readings and street theatre, followed by a two minute silence and presentation of a cherry tree to the base commander.

Attendance varied from over 200 in the final two hours to about 10 in the middle of Thursday morning. A cross-section of people came whose ages ranged from late 70s to a babe in arms, and we were joined by Danes, a Finn, Swiss, Italian and some North Americans. The tone was set by the presence of large numbers of local Quakers, several veterans of the peace movement and the Buddhist monks from Milton Keynes. One monk fasted for the whole time and spent from 6am to 6pm chanting and beating his drum-accompanied by one of US- a few yards from the guard house. We attracted support from passers-by, some of whom stopped their journey to join us, and hoots and thums-up signs particularly from longdistance lorry drivers. There was also a steady stream of derision from other drivers, but while I was there the positive support outweighed the negative.

We made the TV news, local radio, and newspapers, so as a publicity exercise the vigil can be seen as a success. For those of us who attended, the experience was very positive and highly charged-the atmosphere of the site changed-and gave us an opportunity to get to know each other better. Negative criticisms came entirely from the people who spent a short time at the vigil at the start and finish, and predictably from members of the lefttendencies who were alienated by the atmosphere. This feeling was shared by a group of young army officers who came along to disrupt us af ter the pubs closed. They shouted at us for half an hour and fled in terror when we formed a silent circle.

For me it made a useful contrast to overtly political demonstrations, without long speeches by big names, and it was good to attend an event for peace together with groups of people I don't normally meet, but who clearly have a great deal to offer.
Contact: Campaign Atom, tel Oxford 47429.

The Long Road To Greenham

'The idea of the march was a little notice in Peace News about a women-led march from Copenhagen to Paris which I noticed whilst on a leaflet writing party to persuade our Council to go nuclear-free (they did). What a nice idea to have one here - everyone agreed, but no one wanted to "do" it because it would be too much work. Nor did I, but" the idea just refused to go away so in the end I gave in to persistent internal pestering and announced that I would walk from somewhere in Wales to somewhere, like Greenham Common, in England with anyone else that wanted to come.

About forty of us assembled in Cardiff on August 26th, and the first thing that struck us was our variety. The more we discovered of ourselves the more impressed we became - by the numbers of women, for instance, for whom coming on the march had been difficult, involving elaborate arrangements over child-care or jobs, or giving up a holiday. Simply to discover that this primlooking grandmother, this cheerful G.P., this nervous schoolgirl, this single-parent mother of five, took the threat to our future seriously enough to respond to a call to action coming not from any known organisation but from an unknown individual living in an obscure rural corner of these isles gave us courage. This faith is important, for the potential of "the movement" to rise to the rhetoric about The Greatest Challenge in the History of Mankind is no more than the potential of these miserable individuals, with dinner to cook and too much to do already, and a deepseated lack of faith in themselves and others ...

By the second half of our long walk in the heat wave, the atmosphere was like a kind of force-field within which obstacles served only to strengthen determination and policemen relaxed, became human and danced with us to the tune of "No More Hiroshimas" ... What I believe we experienced was something of that creative spirit, that power of mimesis, evoked by our distant ancestors when they drew pictures to overcome their fear of the huge powerful animals that surrounded and threatened them - the woolly marnmoth, the sabre-toothed tiger. They drew it and danced and in this way they came to believe it could be done - these powerful creatures could be killed.'

Ann Pettitt
The Greenham Factor

In 1983-1984 Sally Belfrage was involved in the Greenham Common Women's Nuclear Disarmament movement, and helped edit its broadsheet "The Greenham Factor."

[Source: Guide to the Sally Belfrage Papers 1903-1994.
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. New York.∂=body ]
Belfrage, Sally: Down Among The 'Wimmen'. The Nation, June 30, 1984 pp. 793-796.

Joan Ruddock MP: I was the chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament - the major anti-nuclear weapons campaign in the UK. We gave support to the original marchers from Wales (women and men), who subsequently set up the Peace Campaign after having reached Greenham Common. It soon became an all female camp and CND continued to give support.
My house was near the Greenham base (which is why I became the head of the movement). Consequently I didn't live at the camp but was a very frequent visitor and supporter.

Come to Greenham Common. END Newsletter. No. 3, 1981 p.1.

John, Helen: Greenham Common. Disarmament Campaigns. No. 8, February 1982 p. 9.

Women's Banners / Published and edited by Thaila Campbell.

Coates, Ken: Letter: Kalevi Sorsa
The Guardian, Monday March 15, 2004,,1169263,00.html
Kalevi Sorsa (Obituary March 5) played an important part in the launching of the movement for European Nuclear Disarmament.

Campbell, Duncan: The road to Greenham Common.
New Statesman. Vol. 105. No. 2709, 18 February 1983 p. III.


Cruise Missiles: Keep Out of Britain

Ann Simpson

Women of the whole world, No. 4, 1982 pp. 14-15.
[Women of the whole world were the journal of the Women's International Democratic Federation.]

“Women have a very different comment to make about war and the killing of children. Our heritage is to bring life into the world - no longer will we stay at home and allow men to go out and fight in wars - today we are coming out to fight against war."
(from a press release of the Women's Peace Camp Greenham Common (Great Britain)”

At the end of August last year [1981], forty women plus children and men marched from their home town Cardiff in South Wales, where armaments are manufactured, to Greenham Common USA Air Force Base, just west of London, where the British government intends to station 96 of the 160 Cruise missiles which NATO proposes to deploy in Britain. They marched "in an attempt to bring some attention to how they felt about the nuclear war issue and the unacceptable escalation Cruise missiles in Europe represents". They were virtually ignored by the media. In order to get publicity for their views, on arrival at Greenham Common, some of the women chained themselves to the fence around the military base for 24 hours (just as the suffragettes had done outside the Houses of Parliament at the beginning of the century in the fight for votes for women) ... and, women have been there ever since. They set up what has become known as the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp at the main gate of the base. They have now been living there 11 months in tents and caravans through the heavy snows and rain storms of the harsh winter and the summer heat wave. And they intend to stay until December 1983-the NATO deadline for deploying the Cruise missiles.

About a dozen women and some children are always living in the peace camp-some have been there the whole time; others for a few months, weeks or days. They are ordinary women-factory workers, students, housewives, professionals and unemployed women-who have sacrificed their normal life to protect not only the lives of their families and friends, but the lives of all humanity.

The peace camp has the official support of the entire peace movement in Britain. Individuals and whole bus loads from local peace groups come to show their solidarity, bringing food and financial support. For instance, one day recently, fifty women from Dorset Women for Peace came dressed up as waitresses, carrying models of Cruise missiles and holding placards asking "Who ordered these?". They gave out home-baked "peace cakes" to the workers at the base, saying "Don't feel guilty; just don't work here!"

As well as having a very visible presence at the main entrance of the military base, the women peace campers are taking many initiatives to spread the word of peace and life and to intensify the fight against Cruise missiles. They talk with the British building workers who are constructing the silos for the new missiles (two workers left their jobs when they discovered what it is that they are building-quite a sacrifice in a time of over 3 million unemployed); they explain their case to the US soldiers and their children with posters and conversations; they speak at nuclear disarmament meetings up and down the country, and Helen John, one of the original founders af the camp who is still there, made a fighting speech at the quarter million strong national demonstration for nuclear disarmament held in London in June.

They organized a very successful Festival of Life on 21 March to mark the spring equinox and mothers day the traditional festivals welcoming spring and life. About 10,000 people came to the base and surrounded it, listening to music, dancing, singing and watching theatre. Starting that evening, 250 women staged a symbolic occupation of the base by sitting across all the entrances to the base, stopping traffic in and out for 24 hours. The next morning, police removed a section of the fencing at the back of the base to follow soldiers and workers on the silos through. Women immediately sat in front of this hole as well. 34 women were arrested and fin[e]d, and for the rest of the day women were dragged away by police to allow vehicles through, only to return at once.

Two days later, the local District Council announced that they were seeking action in the High Court to evict the peace campers. Despite nation-wide protests, they won their case, and at the end of May the police arrived with bulldozers. They removed the caravans and completely demolished a large communal tent, which the protesters had used as a meeting area. They arrested five women who lay in front of the bulldozers in a last valliant effort to prevent the destruction of a nationally supported protest for peace. They were sent to prison for one week and thousands of women rallied in protest at the prison gates. But these determined women were not to be defeated. They immediately set up camp again-two yards down the road on land over which the District Council has no jurisdiction. And they are still there!

I had already met several women peace campers from Greenham Common at various European women's peace conferences and meetings during the past months, and was delighted to be able, at last, to visit the camp in July. I spoke with Babs [Schmidt] who is one of the women living in the camp -and heard about their plans.

On Hiroshima and Nagasaki Days they are organizing a public event at the war memorial in the nearby town, drawing attention to the horrific effects of nuclear holocaust. They plan also to stage an action at the gates of the base and to attempt to enter it in a peaceful way and talk with the soldiers.

They are in the process of investigating the history of the base. They have discovered that is built on common land, which should, by custom, be open to free use by all citizens. They are looking into whether it is in fact lawful for the base to have been built there and if not intend to push through the courts for its removal!

Amongst their many original ideas for action is the plan to surround the whole base, whim has a perimeter of ten miles, with women holding hands a human chain. They will need 10,000 women and are spreading the idea everywhere in order to gain the support they need and will surely get.

Babs told me how important the support from all over the country and abroad is. They have received letters and telegrams from many different countries and organizations, including the WIDF. (Address: Women's Peace Camp, Outside main gate, USAAF. Greenham Common, Berkshire, Great Britain).

Just as I was saying goodbye a representative of the Ministry of Transport (who owns the land the camp is now on) brought a 28 day notice of eviction. But the women at Greenham Common will battle on and, with all their initiative, will find a way of maintaining a permanent presence at the gates of this crucial base in their heroic battle to stop the stationing of Cruise missiles in Britain.

The Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp has become on the one hand, a focal point for the peace movement, and on the other hand, a great inspiration to others for action. There are now twelve 'Peace camps throughout Britain. Each has its own specific character, but all are firm in their stand against Cruise missiles and for nuclear disarmament.

Another nationwide campaign is the one for Nuclear Free zones. Already over 140 local councils-including those of big cities such as London, Manchester and Liverpool, and whole regions in Scotland, and Wales in its entirety-have declared themselves Nuclear Free zones, convinced that "their citizens should not suffer the horrors of nuclear war", They have passed resolutions in whim they call upon the British Government "to refrain from the manufacture or positioning of any nuclear Weapons of any kind within the area of our city (region, etc.)." They are 'taking action by supporting disarmament and peace movements, by opening free discussions in smools and community groups, by pressing to stop the transportation of nuclear warheads and waste without their approval in their areas, by seeking to extend their powers to achieve a nuclear free Britain for future generations. The united action of these Nuclear Free lone councils has forced the government to postpone indefinitely a nationwide civil defense exercise (part of a NATO exercise) designed to test and encourage local civilian involvement in dealing with the aftermath of a nuclear war. This is a great victory, but the fight goes on.

Nuclear disarmament and peace groups have sprung up everywhere throughout Britain in the last two years. In the largest city to the smallest village, thousands of people of all age and backgrounds-many of whom have never before been involved in political activity-are on the streets with leaflets, loudspeakers, stalls and cars in protest at the stationing of Cruise missiles on British soil and for nuclear disarmament and peace. The Greater London Council, which covers over 12 million people, proposes to designate 1983 as London Peace Year. The half a million people who participated in massive national demonstrations for nuclear disarmament in October 1981 and June 1982 have made their views very clear to the government. They, and the many others locally, are determined to realize the movement's slogan:

"Together we can stop the bomb '"

The Sarah Tisdall case

In 1984, The Guardian was sent photocopies of two classified documents about the deployment of US cruise missiles in Britain. When the Government demanded them back in order to establish the identity of the mole, the paper eventually produced them. Sarah Tisdall, the young clerk who had sent them, was then prosecuted and subsequently jailed.

The Nation, 08/18/1984 - Beat the Devil by Cockbum, Alexander
In the fall of 1983, amid tremendous public uproar, Britain's Conservative government was secretly preparing to accept delivery of the first batch of 160 cruise missiles from the United States. That October 20, Minister of Defense, Michael Heseltine wrote two memoranda to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, copies of which were distributed to senior ministers, including the Foreign Secretary, Geoffrey Howe. The first memo discussed tactics of political and media damage-control to be employed when the missiles arrived, and the second concerned' security arrangements at Greenham Common, one of the U.S. Air Force bases to which the cruise missiles were committed.
Selections from Full Text:
...The following da[y] Sarah Tisdall, a 23-year-old civil service clerk working in the office of Sir Geoffrey Howe, read the memos...
...This memo dealt with the possibility that demonstrators at Greenham Common might be shot by Royal Air Force personnel, backed by armed U.S...

[McQueen, Alastair: Beneath these 'molehills' the deadly missiles wait. Daily Mirror. December 12, 1983.]

Beside the storage pens is a high-level observation tower manned round the clock by armed paratroopers. They are understood to have orders to shoot any unauthorised person approaching the silos... Most are veterans of last year's fighting in the Falklands.

The memos were written long before the NATO-Soviet negotiations were concluded:

1981 -- November 30 OPENING OF INF NEGOTIATIONS Formal negotiations on INF begin in Geneva. The United States seeks elimination ("global zero") of U.S. and Soviet longer-range intermediate nuclear force (LRINF) missiles and collateral constraints on shorter-range intermediate nuclear force (SRINF) missiles.

1983 -- November 22-23 U.S. INF DEPLOYMENT The West German Parliament approves Pershing II deployments on November 22. The first U.S. INF missiles arrive in Europe the next day, and the Soviet delegation walks out of the INF negotiations in Geneva. The United States offers to resume the talks whenever the Soviets are willing to return, but the talks remain suspended until March 12, 1985.

Dwek, Erika: Something in common: Women Oppose the Nuclear Threat. END Journal, No. 3, 1980 p. 18.

Campbell, Duncan: Convoy caught in city. New Statesman, vol. 102. No. 2636, September 25, 1981, p. 3.

Campbell, Duncan: Dangers of the nuclear convoys. New Statesman, vol. 101. No. 2612, April 10, 1981, pp. 6-8.

Hassan, Amanda: A Black Woman in the Peace Movement.
Spare Rib Magazine, 1984, No. 142 pp. 6-8

National Library of Wales: Pacifism in Wales.
[URL= ]

Campbell, Thalia: 100 Years of women's banners. - Bristol : Women for Life on Earth ; Art and Publicity ; Arts for Labour Wales [1986?] - 27 pp.

In February 1982, the camp became women-only space.
[URL= ]

Cook, Judith: Greenham's uncommon women.
New Statesman. Vol. 105. No. 2704, 14 January 1983 p. 21.

Jones, Lynne: In the eye of the storm.
New Statesman. Vol. 106. No. 2752/53, 16/23 December 1983 pp. 8-9.

Keeping the Peace / Lynne Jones (editor).
- London : The Women's Press, 1983. - 162 pp.

Spare Rib: Greenham : Inside and out.
Spare Rib Magazine, 1984, No. 142 pp. 18-21.

Wallsgrove, Ruth: Press Coverage.
Spare Rib Magazine, 1984, No. 142 p. 21.

Ratovisky, David: Mænd og Greenham Common / Men and Greenham Common. Ikkevold, No. 2, 1984: pp. 14-15.

James, Lucy: Defence and British Politics in the 1980s: The Greenham Alternative.
[URL= ]

The Camps of Greenham

The 'camp' itself consisted of nine smaller camps: the first was Yellow Gate, established the month after Women for Peace on Earth reached the airbase; others established in 1983 were Green Gate, the nearest to the silos, and the only entirely exclusive women-only camp at all times, the others accepting male visitors during the day; Turquoise Gate; Blue Gate with its new age focus; Pedestrian Gate; Indigo Gate; Violet Gate identified as being religiously focussed; Red Gate known as the artists gate; and Orange Gate. A central core of women lived either full-time or for stretches of time at any one of the gate camps with others staying for various lengths of time. From the beginning, links were formed with local feminist and anti-nuclear groups across the country while early support was received from the Women's Peace Alliance in order to facilitate these links and give publicity through its newsletter.

Anne Lee: "I stayed at Indigo Gate, the main gate on the north side of the base. The USAF c. 1986 moved itseveral hundred metres further west. We then called it Woad Gate (woad was an ancient blue dye with which ancient Britons painted their bodies when confronting the Roman adversary). The campsite was on the road verge.
At one stage there were 9 camps: 7 at the Gates, identified by the women as the colours of the rainbow. Between Green and Blue Gates, there was Emerald camp - opposite the Cruise Missile Silos and between Red and Orange was Red Gap, where an internal road terminated at the fence, but there was no gate - it would, however, have been possible for the USAF to have brought out the missile convoy through Red Gap."

A Letter from Greenham Common
Carol (Vegan Views 30, Autumn 1983)

Here at the 'Blue Gate' of Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp eight of us have decided to become vegan. We would like to ask for recipes and ideas from other VV readers, bearing in mind that we cook over a wood fire. I particularly would like to know about soya 'cheese', as I remember being given some at a festival once. Yours in peace.

The women's peace camp at Greenham Common was copied and exported around the world:

Peace Camps, They're Everywhere, They're Everywhere

The Mobilizer, 1984 No. 1 p. 11.
Published by the US National Mobilization for Survival.

When a few dozen British women marched 140 miles from South Wales to Greenham Common in 1981, they didn't plan to start an international trend in the peace movement. They intended to have a debate with military personnel at the proposed U.S. cruise missile base. The debate never did occur, but the women set up the first peace camp at a military site, sparking the establishment of similar camps throughout the world.

As a semi-permanent presence at a military facility, a peace camp acts as a center for direct action organizing, workshops, discussions, and other activities focused on challenging militarism in general, and a local military installation in particular. This summer peace camps are functioning at nuclear installations in several regions of the U. S. Five of the most active are:

Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice (upstate New York, July 14 through Sept. 2)- Women have established a continuing peace camp outside the Seneca Army Depot in Romulus, N. Y. Seneca is a storage facility for neutron bombs and probably Pershing II missiles, and a transhipment point for nuclear weapons going to Europe. Last year Seneca was the site of the first U.S. peace camp and became a national focal point for opposition to the deployment of cruise and Pershing II missiles in Europe. Contact: Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice, 5440 Route 96, Romulus, N.Y. 14541 (697) 869-5825.

Women's Peace Presence To Stop Project Elf (Wisconsin, May 28 through the summer)- Women from around the Midwest have set up a peace presence outside the Navy's Project Elf facility in northern Wisconsin. Project Elf is a sophisticated radio transmitter designed to summon Trident submarines to the surface for a coordinated first-strike attack. It is the "trigger" to launch such an attack. Until recently this aspect of the Pentagon's first-strike policy has gone unnoticed outside Wisconsin and Michigan. The peace presence aims to highlight this dangerous system, and to challenge its continuation. Contact: The Women's Peace Presence, Hazel Kellar, Rt. 6, Box 6684, Hayward, WI 54843 (715) 634-3117..

Savannah River Peace Encampment (South Carolina)- A peace camp of women and men opened July 1 outside the Savannah River bomb factory in Aiken, S.C. The Savannah River plant produces 98% of the plutonium used in the manufacture of nuclear warheads. Citing the success of previous social movements in abolishing slavery in South Carolina, camp organizers are determined to challenge the state's role in building nuclear weapons. An all women's camp has also been established on the same site. Contact: Savannah River Peace Encampment, PO Box 1636, Aiken, S.C. 29802 (404) 3531194. For the women's camp: (404) 5240304.

Puget Sound Women's Peace Camp (Washington)- A peace camp has reopened outside the Boeing cruise missile plant in Kent, Washington. Based upon the principles of nonviolence and feminism, this camp was one of several established last year in opposition to the cruise and Pershing II Euromissiles. The organizers stress their links with anti Euromissile peace camps in Seneca and Greenham Common; Contact: Puget Sound Women's Peace Camp, 7604 South 212th St., Kent, WA 98032 (206) 872-3482. For men 's support group contact: (206) 323-3007.

Silence One Silo Peace Camp (Montana)- Men and women have established a peace camp on farmland outside an ICBM missile silo in East Conrad, MT. The peace camp is a part of a campaign to shut down one Minuteman missile silo in Montana (hence the name Silence One Silo). It serves as a base to house and train volunteers, acts as a center of information and action, and also provides continued access to the missile site. The camp hopes to become a model of action for people near other ICBM fields. In the event that the Air Force abandons the silo, the organizers plan to dedicate the camp as a peace park. Contact: Silence One Silo, Box 9203, Missoula, MT 59807 (406) 549-9449.

Peace Camps. Disarmament Campaign No. 13. July/August 1982 p. 13

The Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice is now Women's PeaceLand.

The Danish Peace Academy: Encyclopedia on Peace and Security: Peace Camps.

[The Women's Library: The Greenham Common Collection
URL= ]

Deploying the missiles

Great Britain
END Journal Issue 2, 1983

Britain will receive 160 ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCM). 96 will be deployed at Greenham Common in Berkshire and 64 at Molesworth in Cambridgeshire. Greenham Common is scheduled to be the first site in Europe to receive the missiles. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for Greenham Common is December 1983. But from past experience this suggests that a portion of the missiles will be deployed around September. The missile launchers, known as TELs, will arrive even sooner. Indeed END Journal has received evidence that the United States have asked the British government if they can begin testing the mobile TELs and the launch control centres (LCCs) on British roads as early as April.

The US Department of Defense is making strenuous efforts to maintain the IOC at Greenham Common in December and has appointed a 'Tiger Team' to iron out difficulties. Construction of the super-hardened concrete silos is well advanced as could be observed during the television coverage on New Year's Day protests at Greenham. The trucks for the TELs are made in West Germany and, reportedly, the West German government has been pressed by the US Government to ensure delivery in late spring.

The main reason for the haste appears to be political. The US is anxious that the Greenham Common facility should be as advanced as possible before a general election so as to make cancellation by a future British Government more difficult.

However any early delivery of the missiles is bound to have the most serious consequences on the US/Soviet Union talks in Geneva as it is impossible for the Soviet Union to accurately verify the presence of a nuclear armed cruise. But they can detect the presence of launch vehicles and as such it has been acknowledged by the American negotiator, Paul Nitze, that the Soviet Union is likely to pull out of the talks as soon as that part of the cruise missile system is deployed.

The Molesworth base is, so far, completely open; it is currently used for RAF disposal. Only Ministry of Defence signs deter the curious visitor. The only evidence of construction is what looks like the extension and renewal of an old disused runway.

The Women's Peace Camp at Greenham Common has been widely reported in the press. The demonstration on December 12, the invasion of the base on New Year's Day and various other forms of direct action have dramatically drawn attention to the cruise issue.

There is also a People's Peace Camp at Molesworth, with about 50 to 100 people, and much more space and facilities than Greenham. The camp includes several caravans, a windmill and a hut and campers were prosecuted for making a vegetable garden inside the base area.

Picture source:
URL= ]

The United Kingdom is the only one of the five prospective host countries where sittings for the deployment of the new systems have been carried out and two main operating bases (MOB) have been selected there. Under the NATO proposal, 40 cruise launchers-l60 missiles-will be deployed in the United Kingdom...

The decision to accept cruise missiles and the more recent announcement of the purchase of the Trident missile to replace the Polaris deterrent force has sparked a new wave of antinuclear feeling in the United Kingdom. Opposition to the possession of nuclear arms and the location of American nuclear bases on British soils reported to be running higher than in the days of the "campaign for nuclear disarmament (CND)" in the 1950's. The movement has produced a spate of literature and articles arguing for [sic] and against the Government's current position. Much of the argument has been evoked by the publication of a Government handbook on Civil Defense, "Protect and Survive," which provoked a critical review of Government policy by Oxford historian E. P. Thompson called "Protest and Survive."
[The Modernization of NATO's Long-Range Theater Nuclear Forces : Report Prepared for the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East of the Committee on Foreign Affairs U.S. House of Representatives by the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, December 31, 1980. U.S. GPO, Washington, 1981 p. 60.]

Campbell, Duncan: Cruise missile base nears completion.
New Statesman. Vol. 106. No. 2745, 28 October 1983 p. 6.

Operational Selection Policy OSP 11 : Nuclear Weapons Policy 1967-1998.
Records Management Department, The National Archives.
[URL= ]

Around the time of the Cruise Missile protests two books were published ‘War Plan UK- The Secret Truth About Britain’s Civil Defence’ by Duncan Campbell and ‘Beneath The City Streets’ by Peter Laurie. Between them they documented the plans to defend the country in case we should ever be attacked by atomic weapons.
[URL= ]

When the MOD produced a propaganda pamphlet, at public expense of £ 8000, for the residents of Greenham Common and Molesworth, the prospective cruise missile bases, it assured them that the bases were not, because of the missiles' mobility, 'likely to be a priority target'. That was in July 1980; in September 1980, the two bases featured on the Square Leg bomb plot as high-priority targets indeed. Greenham Common was one of the very earliest Square Leg targets. It would not have been dishonest for the MOD to say that the bases were almost certainly priority targets anyway, and the addition of the cruise missiles represented only a marginal increase in the mortal risk already faced in war by anyone living near the bases.
[Campbell, Duncan: War Plan UK. Paladin, 1983 p. 362.]

Taking Liberties
by Andrew Puddephatt.
CHARTIST, April/June 1990.
There is now an unprecedented level of individual surveillance, harassment and invasion of privacy by the state. The Observer in October 1988 claimed that, based on interviews with British Telecom engineers, there had been a 50 per cent increase in the number of engineers engaged in tapping telephones and that 30,000 taps a year were currently being placed on the lines of British citizens. The storage of information on people by the police has increased massively; it is not just people who are criminals or suspected of crime who are stored on the Police National Computer (PNC). Anyone o interest can find that personal details are logged by a local `collator' and store either on a local data-base or the PNC.
Ministers have the power to define who is and who isn't subversive and who does or does not warrant surveillance by the security services. Michael Heseltine used MI5 to collect information on CND and the Greenham Common protesters in order to fight a political campaign in the media against the peace movements.
Copyright © Statewatch

Campbell, Duncan: Tories wage secret war on peace campaigmers.
New Statesman. Vol. 105. No. 2706, 28 January 1983 p. 8.

In January 1983 Newbury District Council revoked the common land bye-laws for Greenham Common, becoming the private landlord for the site and instituting court proceedings to reclaim eviction costs, actions which were ruled as illegal by the House of Lords in 1990.

In March 1984, Caroline Blackwood (1931-1996), visited the camp for the first time.

In her book of reportage, On the Perimeter, she depicts the lives, fears and prejudices of all those involved; she talks to the women themselves, to bystanders, to shopkeepers, and members of RAGE (Ratepayers Against Greenham Encampments). She witnesses the evictions, sexual abuse of the women by the paratroopers, the trials in Newbury of women who have entered the base and the sudden arrival of the hunt at Main Gate...

[The New York Review of Books: Caroline Blackwood: Bibliography of books and articles by Caroline Blackwood, from The New York Review of Books. ]

Hipperson, Sarah: Letter: Lord Donaldson of Lymington
The Guardian, Wednesday September 7, 2005,,1564052,00.html
The Greenham Common protest might not have lasted beyond 1985 had it not been for Lord Donaldson (obituary, September 3). In the appeal court, he overturned a ruling that had removed the names of 13 women from the Newbury electoral register, stating: "As to the need for a qualifying address, there can be no doubt that the Greenham ladies have it. Their mail is regularly delivered ... [their occupation] seems to have a marked degree of continuity." He listened with patience and courtesy to each of us.

Evictions at Greenham Common continued to 1995.

Greenfield, Myrna: Peace camp inspiration. END Journal, No. 6, 1983 pp. 6-7.

Up to 50,000 women were involved in protests to try to stop the movement of missiles.
Michael Fleet: One last heave will topple the Greenham fence.
Electronic Telegraph, Thursday 11 September 1997

At the end of 1984, 2013 women from Greenham Comon had been arrested.
[Source: Peace Protest Roll Call (9). New Statesman, Vol. 108. No. 2802 1984 p. 6.]

[Hansard] 147 Oral Answers 17 JANUARY 1984

Mr. Strang: Is the Secretary of State aware that I delivered to his office this morning a large chunk of concrete which the Greenham common women believe was thrown over the perimeter fence on to one of their tents in the middle of the night just before Christmas by a British soldier? Has he noticed the recent reports in the press of the harassment of the Greenham common women by British soldiers? Will he take this opportunity to make it clear that he is opposed to any such harassment and that if any Member of Parliament provides him with precise details of any such incident it will be investigated?

Mr. Heseltine: I think that I can help the hon. Gentleman. I am against members of the armed forces throwing concrete at people.

The protests and arrests continued...

WOMEN MAKE LINKS Set of 8 postcards NO.8
Heathrow Airport, December 1984. Greenham women demonstrate against nuclear and racial exploitation of the Soufh Pacific. Action to coincide with Australian Women's Peace Camp at U.S. Base, Cockburn Sound.
Photo Pam Isherwood.
Published by Sheffield Women Against Pit Closures and Hackney Greenham Women
WOMEN MAKE LINKS, 77 Bayston Rd, London N16.
Printed by Trojan, 10a Bradbury St, London N16
Distributed by Housmans, 5 Caledonian Rd, London N1.

[Introduction song book]

This song book is a reprint ... of a reprint, beginning its life with us in Manchester over a year ago! Remember the little yellow flip-over? We began with a copy of one of the many personal collections kept by Greenham women around the world. Other songs were added. It was completed in time for the last December 12th.

Later, came the comments: why not an index? no music? no guitar chords?

Prompted by a need to challenge the invitation and sponsorship of a MAN to represent women's experiences in a musical narration - 'Gates of Greenham' at Manchester Free Trade Hall, we began re-working Greenham's song book: The intention was to present at least a part-record through song and graphics, a women's experience of Greenham, BY WOMEN, to sell before and after the performance. Unlike Tony Biggin, we had NO sponsorship then, the 100 copies soon ran-out. There were requests for more. And reminders ... weren't there still some songs missing ?! So ... here's the next edition!!

There's been lots of women involved one way, or another: women writing songs (and adapting well known 'men's songs); women inspiring songs, listening, joining in, collecting songs, singing for music- writing, writing-out words, collecting graphics from old leaflets and newsletters, pasting-up and collating ...funding other women to pay a Manchester Women's press. All round, lots and lots of us!! And none of us named: We had many discussion about this. Finally, we felt, because it would be impossible to name all women, many unknown to us, and the fact that the book is not a money-making venture, no 'credits' list should be added. All we can say is ...haven't we all done well!

We hope to create a tape of at least one verse of every song for those who are blind or don't find the music helpful. This will hopefully be created at Orange Gate on December 12th. Copies of the tape will then be available from addresses below at £1. per copy to cover tape and postage costs... the message has to be, songs are for all to sing, and we can all join in, however unpractised our voices are, if we have the words and an idea of the tune.


from Greenham Song Book,
c/o 411 Manchester Road, Leigh, Lancs.
or 42 St. Hilda's Road, Old Trafford, Manchester 16.
Please send enough to cover cost price £1.50 and postage. Donations welcome.
Because sponsorship has been received, all monies received will go to Greenham.

[No information about editors.
Picture source: The Greenham factor, December 1982.]

[Some of the songs in the songbook from Greenham Common had appeared in the Anti-nuclear songbook published by Mushroom Bookshop and Peace News in Nottingham and in the A Greenham Song Patchwork.

Others Greenham songs were published in the undated Chant down Greenham songbook produced by the Greenham Umbrella. The rare Chant down Greenham has some songs not included in the Greenham Common songbook: Stand Up, The Universal Soldier, Masters of War, Rebecca's Song, Hard Days Night, After The Bombs Have Fallen, Power To The People, Down By The Riverside and Picket For Peace.]

Greenham songs are growing and changing all the time. This collection is got together by Hackney Greenham Drummers affinity group as a contribution to 'Sound Around the Base' December 11 1983[.]
Please make copies and give them to others.
(Printed by Calverts North Star Press)

Index Songs

  1. Brazen Hussies
  2. The Chief of Police
  3. There's a hole in your fence
  4. Trident Trident
  5. You can't kill the Spirit
  6. Out of the Darkness
  7. Lily of the Arc Lights
  8. The Vine and the Fig Tree
  9. Here at Greenham on a spree [Layabout Song]
  10. A little help from our friends
  11. That's what gets us by
  12. Bella Ciao
  13. We are the Daughters of Amazon
  14. We work for the Russians
  15. Building Bridges
  16. Under the full moonlight we dance [Full Moonlight Dance]
  17. Lies
  18. I am a Witness to your War Crimes
  19. Carry Greenham Home
  20. Swift as the wind my sisters are
  21. Da Do Ron Ron
  22. With our lovely feathers we shall fly
  23. Which side are you on?
  24. Reclaim the Night
  25. The River is Flowing
  26. Four minutes to midnight
  27. You say our Earth is out of Bounds [A Song For Molesworth]
  28. Our Diggers' Song
  29. Diggers' Song
  30. Chant Down Greenham
  31. At the Peace Camp
  32. We are Gentle Angry Women (Singing For Our Lives)
  33. We like the flowers
  34. Mothers, Daughters, Wives
  35. Sarah's Song
  36. Bridget Evans
  37. Elsie's Song (Chat and Nuke you Talks)
  38. Holloway Song
  39. Lonely Holloway Prison
  40. Oh Holloway
  41. We are the Witches
  42. Silo Song
  43. Silo Action Song
  44. Cosmie Green with Envy Song
  45. Greenham Lullaby
  46. Womanly Times
  47. Smash the System
  48. Stand Up
  49. Peace Camp Newbury, Berkshire
  50. Rainbow Ditty
  51. Take the Toys away from the Boys
  52. We don't torture
  53. Who are the Witches?
  54. Yesterday's Children

Additions to the Song book .......
at the time of the FIRST EVER AGREEMENT to REDUCE the Nuclear Stockpile

[The INF-treaty.]

  1. Linking Arms Circling Round
  2. Leave us Alone
  3. Muncher Song
  4. Strangest Dream
  5. Just a Little While to Stay Here
  6. We are the Flow and we are the Ebb
  7. Nightmare Song (Nagasaki Day '82)
  8. Tomorrow
  9. The Waters of Babylon
  10. Your Children are not yours
  11. Breaths
  12. Bye Bye Blackbird
  13. Now I'm a happy Dyke
  14. Leah's Song
  15. Non-Monogamy Song
  16. Feet on Solid Ground
  17. Don't Think Twice
  18. It Ain't Me Judge
  19. She Changes Everything
  20. Women for Peace
  21. I have dreamed
  22. Silver's Dragon Song
  23. On This Mountain
  24. The Earth is our Mother
  25. Bent Ladies
  26. Revolution Talk
  27. We'll Come Back
  28. For the Police
  29. There's A Sentry
  30. Festival of Light - words but no music
  31. Bailiffs Song - words but no music
  32. Grenham Common (Oklahoma) - words but no music

Additions from the Ravnstrup Women's Peace Camp Songbook:

Woman I am.

According to the second, also undated, revised version of the booklet the Greenham Factor; there were produced a single record with the songs You Can’t Kill the Spirit & Yesterdays Children.

We have a dream

Some of the Greenham Common songs appeared on the now rare LP, We have a dream [a few], produce by Oneworld Peacesongs in London in 1984.
There are only two copies of We have a dream in the US! One at Neuman College (in Philadelphia) and the other at the University of Mississippi. Ufortunatly I have not been able to find other copies of the LP in libraries anywhere. The LP, We have a dream, has Greenham Common-related songs not included in this songbook. The recorded songs are:

Building Bridges/Stand Up (sung by 1world Peacesingers)
The Opposition (Margo Random, author and singer)
Four Minutes to Midnight
Carry Greenham Home (Peggy Seeger)
Like a Mountain (Naomi Littlebear Morena)
Tierra Sol (Cupido)
Speech to Apollo/Out of the Darkness (Frankie Armstrong)
Women Make Your Move (Rachel Hayhoe)
The Woman in Front of the Bus (Joanna Cazden)

Tomorrow (Peggy Seeger)
No More Genocide (Holly Near)
The Silo Song (Rebecca Johnson)
One World (Rachel Hayhoe).

According to Peggy Seeger Carry Greenham Home is written in 1983 and first recorded in 1988.

Also mentioned should be Peggy Seeger's Woman on Wheeels about fence cutting Jennifer Jones, suffering from MS.

GREENHAM The first protests

The land referred to commands a gorgeous view at the Berkshire and Hampshire downs. In the spring it is a blaze at yellow broom and in the autumn a carpet of blue heather. It has always been regarded as common land, but the people appear to have permitted the landlord certain rights over it because he presented himself as the guardian of its immunity ...

Nye Bevan on Greenham Common. In a letter to Clough Williams-Ellis at the Council for the Preservation of Rural England, 30th August 1938.

[This page in the songbook is a photomontage based upon the article: Greenham the first protests by Rip Bulkeley in Sanity, January 1985 pp [26-27]. The Greenham Common proposed Airfield poster is credited Henry Grant and the quote of Nye Bevan and the map of Greenham Common are also here.]

Notes, history, documentation and links

On May 21st 1937 Lloyd Harry Baxendale died and with his death an era of great change had begun.
The house and estate, inherited by his adopted daughter, was promptly broken up and sold. and
There is a Green Hill near at hand...The story of St. Marys Church, Greenham, Newbury 1876 - 1976 (Taken from St Mary's Church Centenery booklet, 1976)

In 1939, the Second World War beagn.

During the war years the Ministry of Defence built runways on the 1st, 14th and 15th fairways and the lower holes were confiscated for grazing sheep and cattle!
Newbury and Crookham History

THE AIRFIELD was originally constructed in 1940. It was used then by USA gliders who took off one night to land in North Africa — and again to France. [Following the invasion of France, the Americans transferred their resources to France and Greenham Common reverted to RAF control until it was closed in 1946. However, as the Cold War began, it was reopened in 1951 as a US Strategic Air Command, coming into American Airforce operational control in June 1953, accomodating B47 and B52 aircraft. It was closed once more in 1961 only to be reopened in 1964, when it also became a NATO standby base.] The airfield is now [1972] kept ready for use in an emergency and for occasional flying exercises.

Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 30 JUN 2005

Declassified/Released US Department of State EO Systematic Review 30 JUN 2005
S E C R E T STATE 228591
E.O. 11652: GDS

Greenham and Crookham Commons Bill

House of Lords Session 2001- 02
Other Private Bills before Parliament
To restore land at and in the vicinity of the Greenham and Crookham Commons as common land open to the public; to make provision for the conservation of the natural beauty of that land; to grant public access over that land in perpetuity and to make provision with respect to that public access; to restore and extend commoners' rights over that land; to constitute the Greenham and Crookham Common Commission for the management of that land; to confer powers on the West Berkshire District Council and on that Commission with respect to that land; and for connected and other purposes. WHEREAS —
(1) The lands known as Greenham Common and Crookham Common in the district of West Berkshire were prior to the Second World War subject to rights of common and open to the public:
(2) In 1939 Newbury Borough Council (“the Borough Council”) purchased Greenham Common for use as an open recreational area for the people of Newbury subject to subsisting rights of common over the land:
(3) In 1941 Greenham Common was requisitioned by the Government for military purposes in connection with the national defence:
(4) Following the end of the Second World War Greenham Common was de-requisitioned in 1947 but in 1951 was re-requisitioned by the Secretary of State for defence purposes:
(5) In 1961, in anticipation of compulsory purchase proceedings by the Secretary of State, the Borough Council disposed of most of Greenham Common to the Secretary of State subject to any subsisting rights of common, and retained the remainder of Greenham Common:
(6) In the 1950s and 1960s the Secretary of State acquired the whole of Crookham Common and other adjoining areas of land for defence purposes and, subsequently, most of that land and the land at Greenham Common acquired by the Secretary of State as mentioned above was fenced against the public by the Secretary of State and used as the Greenham Common Airbase:
(7) In 1982 the Secretary of State sold land at Crookham Common outside the perimeter fence of the Greenham Common Airbase to Newbury District Council (“the Council”), the statutory successor to the Borough Council:
(8) On 26 July 1983 the Council made a Scheme of Management under the Commons Act 1899 (c. 30) in respect of those parts of Greenham Common and Crookham Common then in their ownership and on 10 August 1983 the Council made byelaws under that Act of 1899 in respect of that land which byelaws were confirmed by the Secretary of State on 7 November 1983 (“the 1983 Scheme and Byelaws”):
(9) Greenham Common and Crookham Common were registered as common land pursuant to the Commons Registration Act 1965 (c. 64) and rights of common over that land were registered under that Act:
(10) The rights of common so registered in respect of those parts of Greenham Common then vested in the Secretary of State were extinguished in 1991 under the Defence Acts 1842 (c. 94), 1854 (c. 67) and 1859 (c. 12) and the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act 1845 ...

Threat To Greenham Common

Brendon James
January 1998

Greenham Common, situated near the Kennet River less than two miles outside Newbury, is one of a band of Berkshire Commons. They support rough grazing, the growth of heather and grassland interspersed with trees of various species and contain a number of SSSIs. In 1938 the owner, Lord of the Manor Baxendale, put up for public auction 880 acres of his Greenham Lodge Estate with its ancient and manorial rights, privileges and emoluments. In 1939 Newbury Corporation (later Newbury District Council) purchased 856 acres at 5s (25p) an acre. Councillor Burns announced that this would secure for Newbury inhabitants the full privilege of access and use. The appearance of the Common would be preserved by the new public owners.

In 1941 the Air Ministry requisitioned Greenham Common for an airfield. 3 runways (2000 yds, 1500 yds and 1000 yds respectively) were constructed. Commoners' rights were 'suppressed' but not 'extinguished'. Though in 1947 the Common was derequisitioned, the Air Ministry refused to restore it to its original status. Instead it offered Newbury Corporation compensation in cash. Up until December 1958 the Ministry of Defence still claimed an 'interest' in the land under the Defence of the Realm Act (1938-58): Emergency War Powers Act.

In 1960 the Secretary of State for Air bought 630 acres of Greenham Common, which nevertheless remained subject to existing rights and covenants. He undertook to consult Newbury Corporation as to the disposal of the land if and when it ceased to be used for the purposes of an airfield. Public access to these 630 acres was revoked but Commoners' rights preserved. Then in 1979 NATO took the decision to site 96 Ground Launched Cruise Missiles here.


This signalled the start to a growing citizens' protest. In 1981 women arrived to set up camps in the area. In 1983 the first missiles were flown in. From then on tension heightened between the Women on the one hand and the MOD/Newbury District Council/USAF cabal on the other. This led to evictions, arrests and imprisonment for the Women. In 1985 the MOD introduced Bylaws, under the Military Lands Act of 1892, in order to curtail women's incursions into the Base which was now defined by a perimeter fence. As convictions occurred under these Bylaws, 2 women, Jean Hutchinson and Georgina Smith, decided to challenge them. Under the 1892 Military Lands Act, there was provision for making Bylaws On Common Land provided no rights of Common existed on the land. During 4 years of litigation, the case went from the Magistrate's to the Crown and High Courts, eventually reaching the House of Lords. There, on 12th July 1990, these Bylaws were pronounced invalid precisely because they interfered with Commoners' rights. On 18th May 1992 in another case at Oxford Crown Court, Judge Lait declared the fence around Greenham Common to be illegal. The 1925 Law of Property Act, Sect. 194 (2) states clearly that the Secretary of State for the Environment has to give consent for building on Common Land. The MOD conceded in court it had never sought such consent. All construction on Greenham Common during the USAF's occupation must therefore have been unlawful.

To offset such a conclusion, the MOD set out in August 1988 to buy out Commoners' rights. In May 1991 it produced a Vesting Deed, under the 1954 Defence Act and 1845 Land Clauses Consolidation Act, signed by 3 Commoners claiming to represent the rest, though not all Commoners were party to the deal. More than £90,000 was shared among those who accepted money in exchange for their rights. Lord Denning stated in the Guardian, "MOD lawyers have got it wrong that in claiming Defence Statutes passed in the 19th century permit them to override Common Law and extinguish Commoners' rights, they have misconstrued a passage in Halsbury's LAWS OF ENGLAND". On 9th December 1996 at Reading Crown Court, the Women's Peace Camp disputed the claim that Commoners' rights had been extinguished. They challenged the erection of a new fence the MOD had built around a 144 acre site earmarked for 'technical development'. The MOD said it was there simply for safety. This case is under appeal at the High Court.


This seems to have been the last straw for the MOD. On 24th March 1997 it sold the land to 'Greenham Common Community Trust' for £7 million. 144 acres of this is to be jointly developed by the Trust and Newbury District Council as a £2.3 million 'Enterprise Centre'. This will allegedly provide funds for the restoration of the rest of the land for public enjoyment. Recent disputes within NDC, however, cast doubts about this. On 19th November 1997 The Women's Peace Camp issued a High Court Writ on NDC, delaying 'progress' of the Enterprise Centre. The Women maintained that, according to Section 194 of the Law of Property Act 1925, NDC had illegally authorised such development.

At the hearing on 18th November, veteran campaigner Sarah Hipperson argued that Commoners' rights could only be extinguished by having their names struck off the Register held at Berkshire County Council. This, according to the Commons Registration (General) Regulation 1966, would require a lengthy scrutiny whereby cause would have to be shown to the County Solicitor and each Commoner (there are about 35) would be given 40 days in which to decide. Since this had not been done, Commoners' rights remain intact. She was unfortunate to encounter in Mr. Justice Popplewell, a judge who appeared to disregard the complexity and confusion of laws governing Common Land. In a summary judgement, he ruled her argument 'legally insignificant', giving the Vesting Deed priority.

It is significant that in all the years it held the Vesting Deed, the MOD never once attempted to test its validity in court. By evading standard procedure and finding an amenable judge, NDC can now go ahead with their plans for development. Their respite may only be temporary, however, because the Women intend to appeal. The issue is too important to let go without giving it their best shot. Ominously when Berkshire County Council is phased out in April 1998, the Register of Commoners will come under the jurisdiction of NDC. Without rights, what can stop further development occurring beyond that already contracted between GCCT and NDC? What happens here may decide the fate of other Common Land.

Source: URL=


Published by the Parish Council in 1972.

Greenham And Crookham Common
- American Arrival And Cold War

The history of RAF Greenham Common dates back to the early years of World War II when the Air Ministry needed airfields to counter the Nazi Blitzkrieg. It was designed for a role as a bomber operational training unit (OTU). The area was a flat, unfenced tract of land covered with grass and brush and the Air Ministry obtained title to the land from the Newbury Town Council in May 1941. It was opened as a satellite to RAF Aldermaston in December 1941. The Air Ministry transferred operational control of the base to the U.S. Army Air Force on November 4, 1943 and it became home to the 354th Fighter Group. The base reverted to RAF control until its closure in 1946. It remained closed until 1951, when the U.K. Government announced the decision to re-open it as an advance base for the U.S. Strategic Air Command. U.S. military personnel moved onto the base in February 1951, and the RAF turned over operational control to the USAF in June 1953.

[Map source: Army Air Forces Stations : A Guide to the Stations Where U .S . Army Air Forces Personnel Served in the United Kingdom During World War II by Captain Barry J . Anderson, USAF Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. 1985. ]

Stop! Standstill! Greenham Common poster 1962B-47 Stratojets arrived in spring 1954 but were diverted to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire because the Greenham runway could not support the weight of the aircraft. The 3909th Air Base Group spent two years reconstructing the runway to bear the weight of the SAC heavy bombers.
A number of SAC units used RAF Greenham Common as a temporary home for military operations until the base was deactivated in 1964. In 1966 the base was re-opened to take some of the commitments of Operation FRELOC (French Relocation) when Charles De Gaulle withdrew his country from direct military participation in NATO units. At that time, Greenham also became a NATO standby base and home for the 755st Combat Support Group.
Source: Business Cards on the Web 2001

In the early years of the Cold War the British and American governments reached an agreement under which elements of the USAF Strategic Air Command (SAC) would be based in the UK. Bases had already been established in East Anglia -- at RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath -- but they were considered to be too vulnerable to bomber attack and airfields further behind the RAF fighter defences were sought. Four RAF airfields were selected to receive SAC units -- RAF Brize Norton, RAF Fairford, RAF Greenham Common and RAF Upper Heyford.

Dozens of B-47E bombers rotated through Greenham Common during the 1950s and early 1960s The 341st Bombardment Wing, 15th Air Force, Strategic Air Command (SAC) deployed six B-47s to Greenham Common RAF Station in July 1959 with three more rotating every week thereafter until April 1961. In 1963 Project Clearwater halted large scale rotational bomber deployments to Britain, and RAF Chelveston, RAF Fairford, RAF Greenham Common, and RAF Sculthorpe were returned to the Air Ministry.

RAF Greenham Common, UK

Consultation is Presidential Business.
Secret Understandings on the Use of Nuclear Weapons, 1950-1974.
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 159.

Anglo-American Strategic Air Power : Co-operation in the Cold War and Beyond. By: Group Capt Christopher Finn, RAF ; Lt Col Paul D. Berg, USAF. Air & Space Power Journal - Winter 2004

World-Wide Deployment of U.S. Strategic Air Command Nuclear Bombs (mid-1958).

Military instalations in Great Britain during the cold war.

When 342 people were arrested at a blockade of the main gate, organised by the Oxford Committee of 100 on June 23rd and 24th, 1962, two of them were women from Newbury, one a teacher and the other retired.
Source: Bulkeley, Rip: Greenham the first protests. Sanity, January 1985 pp. [27].
Shelley, Diana: Stop! Standstill! Greenham Common 1962. Sanity, January 1985 pp. 29-31.
National Committee of 100. London Committee Archives:
... Documents on the demonstrations at Greenham Common US Air Force Base, the Aldermaston march and demonstrations against the Vietnam war 1962-1966.
International Institute of Social History
Source: Stop! Standstill! Greenham Common poster 1962. Sanity, January 1985 p. 31.

To his credit as a social historian, Mr. Inglis devotes as much praise to the relatively unknown as to national leaders. "Joan Ruddock became one of the key spokeswomen for the generation that would finally refuse to ratify the declarations of cold war adhered to for 45 years," he writes. Ms. Ruddock led the sit-in campaign against cruise missiles at Greenham Common in England; in 1980, she became chairman of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, whose influence spread around the world.
[Books of The Times; A Personal Approach To Cold War History
Published: January 22, 1992 ]

A Broken Arrow
The Nuclear Weapon Accident at Greenham Common February 28 [?], 1958

the National Museum of the United States Air Force: Boeing B-47E – At the US airbase at Greenham Common, a B-47E of the 310th Bomb Wing developed problems shortly after takeoff and jettisoned its two 1,700 gallon external fuel tanks. They missed their designated safe impact area and one hit a hanger whilst the other struck the ground 65 feet (20 m) behind a parked B-47E. The parked B-47E, which was fuelled with a pilot onboard and carrying a 1.1 megaton B28 thermonuclear free fall bomb, was engulfed by flames. The conflagration took sixteen hours and over a million gallons of water to extinguish, partly because of the magnesium alloys used in the aircraft. The fire detonated the high explosives in the nuclear weapon and convection spread plutonium and uranium oxides over a wide area — foliage up to 13 kilometres away was contaminated with uranium-235. Although two men were killed and eight injured, the US and UK governments kept the accident secret — as late as 1985, the British Government claimed that a taxiing aircraft had struck a parked one and that no fire was involved. However two scientists, F.H. Cripps and A. Stimson, working for the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston independently discovered high concentrations of radioactive contamination around the base in 1960. Their secret report referring to the accident was declassified in 1996.

Those Who Gave The Ultimate Sacrifice
I present to this website, the list of those who died at Lincoln AFB on-duty in, or because of aircraft crashes.
For We Shall Never Forget Their Sacrifice
28 Feb 1958 Drop tank falls from B-47 on TDY (Overseas) (Temporary Duty)) in Greenham Common
2 LAFB (Lincoln Air Force Base) Killed

SAC Bases: Lincoln Air Force Base
A History of the Former Lincoln Air Force Base Lincoln, Nebraska 1954-1966

The only B-47 accident where the dead is not named in this webpage, which covers the years 1956 to 1963.

No information about Greenham Common 1958 in:

Fletcher, Harry R.: Air Force Bases : Volume II : Air Bases Outside the United States of America.
(Reference series ; United States Air Force HistoricaI Research Agency, Center for Air Force History United States Air Force. - Washington, D.C.: 1993. -219 pp.)

This accident is not recorded in the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Accidents: Danger In Our Midst. The Defense Monitor, Vol. X:5, (c) 1981 Center for Defense Information - Washington, D.C.

UK Nuclear Weapon Safety Since 1960
On 17 July 2001, the Secretary of State for Defence published a table outlining the circumstances of the seven accidents involving British nuclear weapons to have occurred since 1966, none of which have involved the release of radioactive material. An unclassified summary of a report by Sir Ronald Oxburgh (then Chief Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence) into all aspects of nuclear safely published in 1992 referred to "some twenty" accidents and incidents since 1960... The selection of dates for the reporting excludes the Greenham Common accident.,9061,1061755,00.html

First the careful worded denial, then…

First the careful conclusion of denial by the diplomats; then the much later official UK and EU investigations of the accident:

Confidential [Declassified] Memorandum from the Embassy in London to the Department of State, Washington DC. March 3, 1958.

Voice of America Juli 15, 1996
// END ACT //
15-Jul-96 9:43 AM EDT (1343 UTC)
Source: Voice of America

Check: Four Minute Warning: Britain's Cold War Legacy by: Bob Clarke.

Busby, Chris: Childhood Leukemia and Radiation near Newbury: Interim Report
URL= and
Newbury Leukaemia Study Group: Report on the findings related to Greenham Common US Airbase

Goncalves, Eddie: Broken Arrow : The secret of Greenham Common's Nuclear Accident.
- London : CND, 1996. - 12 pp.

Goncalves, Eduardo: Broken Arrow - Greenham Commons: Secret Nuclear Accident and Nuclear Guinea Pigs: British Human Radiation Experiments.

Precise and rapid determination of 238U/235U and uranium concentration in soil samples using thermal ionisation mass spectrometry / Rex N. Taylor, Ian W. Croudace, Phillip E. Warwick, Stephen J. Dee. 1998. Chemical Geology, 144, 73-80.

Letters Saturday 2 August 1997
Death rates from leukaemia are higher than expected in areas around nuclear sites in Berkshire and Oxfordshire
By: Chris Busby ; Molly Scott Cato
BMJ No 7103 Volume 315
As a result of the report that a fire at the United States Air Force base at Greenham Common in 1958 may have caused radioactive contamination near Newbury, Green Audit (Wales) has compared the number of deaths from leukaemia in children aged 14 years and younger from 1981 to 1995 in the Newbury area with that within nearby county districts.
The table shows results for the triangular area defined by Oxford, Newbury, and Reading. It is notable that the districts with significantly higher relative risks are those that contain the outfalls for licensed releases of radioisotopes from the nuclear sites at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell; the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston; and the Royal Ordnance Factory, Burghfield. Bithell et al, however, found no significant excess of leukaemia between 1966 and 1987 within a 25 km radius of the 23 nuclear installations that they studied... The risk factors that were used to support this view, however, are derived from the studies of Hiroshima, which are of short term, high dose external exposure. Concern has been expressed recently that these risk factors may be unsuitable when used to measure the effects of long term, low dose internal exposure.

Greenham Common Airbase Accident
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 23 Jul 1996
Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information has been released by the Government concerning the accident at Greenham Common airbase on 28 February 1958; what recent reassessment he has carried out of the validity of the conclusions of the 1961 Aldermaston report on the accident; and what are the current health implications of that accident. [39134]
Mr. Soames: To detail all of the information released by the Government relating to this accident, which occurred almost 40 years ago, would involve disproportionate cost. My Department has recently released two previously classified reports on radioactivity measurements in the Greenham Common area and an unclassified report, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. The National Radiological Protection Board has carried out an independent assessment of the findings of the 1961 Aldermaston report and considered also the later reports published in 1986 and 1994. The NRPB announced on 18 July that if the data in the 1961 report are correct, the indications are that the radiological impact would have been negligible. The NRPB will also be carrying out a limited programme of measurements to provide further reassurance. We believe that the levels quoted in the 1961 report are well below any public health significance, and no subsequent monitoring in the area has found any elevated measurements.
Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the answer of 16 July, Official Report, column 484, if he will place in the Library a copy of the paper on uranium and plutonium contamination around the Greenham Common airforce base when it is released to the Public Record Office. [39053]
Mr. Soames: Copies of the 1961 report have already been placed in the Library of the House, together with copies of a reassessment report on the 1961 findings, prepared in 1986.
Mr. Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the answer of 16 July, Official Report, column 485, if he will list by date and locations the seven category one accidents involving nuclear weapons to which he refers; and if he will provide details in each case. [39052]
Mr. Soames: No. It remains our policy neither to confirm nor to deny the presence of nuclear weapons at any particular time or place.

Greenham Airbase (Accident)
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 24 Jul 1996
Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) where the remains of the B47 bomber which was destroyed by fire at Greenham airbase on 28 February 1958 are; and when and how they were put there; [39695]
(2) how many (a) British and (b) United States reports were produced concerning the accident at Greenham airbase which was referred to in the report by Cripps and Stimson; how many of the reports have been made public; and if he will place a copy of each of these reports in the Library; [39697] (3) if (a) the hangar and (b) the B47 bomber, referred to in the report by Cripps and Stimson, contained uranium. [39700]
(4) where the remains of the hangar which was destroyed by fire at Greenham airbase on 28 February 1958 are; and when and how they were put there; [39696]
(5) what reports there have been into accidents at Greenham airbase involving uranium since 1966; and if he will place a copy of each in the Library; [39766]
(6) where, in relation to the main runway at Greenham airbase, was the B47 bomber which was referred to in the report by Cripps and Stimson which he placed in the Library; [39694]
(7) for what reasons the report by Cripps and Stimson which he placed in the Library last week was not released in accordance with the normal 30-year rule. [39698]
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish the official service inquiry report of the accident at Greenham common on 28 February 1958 involving a B47 bomber. [39790]

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament: Broken Arrow cover up in UK.

RAF Greenham Common
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 14 Oct 1996.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when Her Majesty's Government were first notified of the matters contained in the report on the B47 accident at RAF Greenham Common, sent to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent by his Department on 28 September; if the United States authorities have made available to Her Majesty's Government the expurgated sections of the report: and if he will place a copy of the report in the Library. [40490]
Mr. Soames: The circumstances of the accident which occurred at RAF Greenham Common on 28 February 1958 were known immediately after the event, and a statement was made to the House on 5 March 1958, Official Report, columns 133-34. A copy of the expurgated report of the US inquiry in to the accident was received by the Ministry of Defence on 7 August this year, and this is the only version which has been made available to us. I will arrange for a copy of the report to be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence where the contaminated soil and aggregates, removed after the accident at RAF Greenham Common on 28 February 1958, are currently stored: what packaging has been used; what monitoring is conducted to ensure toxic materials, hazardous to the environment, are not released from the burial sites; and what has been the cost to date, in 1996 prices, of the clean-up and subsequent waste management arising from the accident. [40507]
Mr. Soames: The accident at RAF Greenham Common on 28 February 1958 did not give rise to any contaminated soil or aggregates which would have required disposal in the manner suggested. I understand that debris from the accident was disposed of by the US authorities in accordance with their routine procedures as no special precautions were needed. All associated costs were borne by the US authorities.

by David Hallam (PSE) to the EU Commission
(27 November 1996)
Subject: Greenham Common nuclear accident in the 1950s
Is the Commission aware that a higher incidence of childhood leukaemia and clusters of cancer incidences have been reported to have been recorded by the United Kingdom Defence and Radiological Protection Service and the Nuclear Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston, UK, around the area of the Greenham Common nuclear base in the United Kingdom?
Is the Commission aware that these readings are understood to have not been released to the public?
Can the Commission authorize an inquiry under the terms of the EURATOM Treaty which will establish whether information has been suppressed by HM Government, will give public access to all documents and monitoring relating to the Greenham Common nuclear base, and provide free health checks for any person who, by visiting or inhabiting the area, may have cause to fear a health rise due to exposure to leaked radiation, or by biological descent of persons visiting or inhabiting the area around Greenham Common?
(OJ C 091 of 20 March 1997, p. 84.)

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission
(20 December 1996)
The allegations to which reference have been made relate to events which occurred before the United Kingdom became a signatory to the Euratom Treaty. However, to the extent that the alleged events may have led to continuing contamination of the environment, the Commission requested information from the United Kingdom authorities to request information. The reply confirmed that there was an accident, involving a United States B47 aircraft, at the Greenham common airbase in 1958. However, no nuclear weapons were involved. The United States authorities confirmed this to be the case in a statement issued, with the authority of the United States defence secretary, as recently as 23 July 1996.
Moreover, environmental surveys carried out in the vicinity of the airbase in 1961 showed slightly higher than normal levels of uranium-235. The radiological impact of those levels of radioactivity has been shown to be insignificant. Subsequent surveys, in 1986 and in 1994, used more advanced and sensitive techniques than those which were available at the time of the 1961 study. Those later studies revealed no evidence of contamination, either on or around the base.
The Commission has no reason to believe that the United Kingdom authorities are withholding information in respect of radiation hazards to the public associated with Greenham common airbase, and has no grounds, therefore, to pursue this matter further. Health checks of the type proposed are a matter for the United Kingdom authorities.
(OJ C 091 of 20 March 1997, p. 84.)

Greenham Common and the law

International Human Rights

In 1983, a group of women, part of the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp grassroots anti-nuclear movement in Great Britain, sought to use the U.S. legal system to enjoin the United States from deploying Cruise missiles in their country. CCR argued that, since the missiles were designed to be used first in response to a conventional conflict, their deployment illegally transferred from Congress to the President the power to decide when a nuclear war shall begin (Greenham Women Against Cruise Missiles v. Reagan). Although the federal courts predictably rebuffed this challenge, the Greenham women used the lawsuit to make the American public aware of growing objections in the international community to the ongoing escalation of the nuclear arms race.
Center for Constitutional Rights

Jaffe, Susan: US government fears Greenham leads the way.
New Statesman, Vol. 106 No. 2749. 25. November 1983 p. 4.

US government fears Greenham leads the way 'I KNOW there are those who agonise about nuclear war, those who live in the shadow of great danger,' said Federal District Court Judge David Edelstein at a hearing this week on the lawsuit filed in New York by eleven Greenham women to stop the deployment of cruise missiles in Britain. 'We have no doubt that it exists, but that is not what is at issue here.'
Instead, Edelstein must first rule on a motion from lawyers representing the American government who want the case dismissed. The government claims that the Greenham women suffer 'only a generalised fear of nuc1ear war'. They are in no immediate danger and haven't shown the likelihood of potential injury or that cruise missiles could lead to a nuc1ear war. 'Ironically, relief (that) the plaintiffs' request', writes the US Attorney, 'could disrupt arms limitation negotiations as well as possibly jeopardise world peace.'
If the judge in his wisdom decides he will hear arguments on the legality of cruise deployment, the government is fearful of an avalanche of lawsuits over nuc1ear weapons. 'People who live near bases in the United States, or in W. Germany, in Asia, people all over the world could come to American courts and challenge decisions on deployment of missiles and arms and movement of troops', said US Attorney Rudolph Guilliano outside the courthouse.
The government also argues that Congressmen Ted Weiss of New York, and Ron Dellums of California, who have joined the lawsuit, don't have the power to challenge in court 'a decision in which they participated and were the losers.' Ann Simon, a lawyer for the British and congressional plaintiffs, told the judge that cruise deployment could deprive Congress of its right to declare wars. 'The courts have consistently reviewed whether the branches of government have exceeded their power.'
When Guilliano was asked later if Congress would have to approve the launching of a cruise missile he said: 'The President has the authority as Commander-in-Chief to take emergency action to protect the United States of America - by God I hope that's true - and if he has the opportunity to go to Congress then he can, if he doesn't, he can't.'
'There is no time to go back to Congress', says Congressman Weiss. 'One of the tragedies of the nuc1ear war is a steady erosion of all the constitutional safeguards we've got. And as I understand it, there may be time for consultation with the British government, but the decision is left solely to the Americans. After Grenada, the British may want to rethink that whole situation. '
A ruling on the government's motion to dismiss the case is expected in early December. A group of right-wing Congressmen have made a submission to the coun in support of the US government, while over 100 groups are now supporting the Greenham women's suit.

[Jaffe, Susan: Greenham US case isn't over by a long chalck. New Statesman. Vol. 108. No. 2794 p. 6.]

Tories refuse to pay for law and order
© New Statesman. All rights reserved. WHEN THE Thames Valley Police Authority refused last. week to beat the growing cost of policing Greenham Common, not only did it burst the groaning dam of Conservative solidarity, but it exposed how the lack of democratic control had esca1ated those costs in the first place. The absence of real accountability of local government, and especially of the police, meant that elected representatives (mostly Tory) had no control over police spending: 1:1.2 million in the year to 27 October and 1:1.8 million in the next four weeks.
First, central government has consistently ignored the local consequences of decisions about the base. When mandarins had Francis Pym casually announce in 1981 that Greenham would be a cruise missile base they omitted to tell him that in the local Structure Plan, agreed with the Department of the Environment, it was classed as 'standby, for emergency use only'. Later they had Michael Heseltine ask what all the fuss was about, as Greenham had been a nuclear base since the 1950s, failing to mention that it had ceased to be so in 1964.
This indifference to local consequences included putting a pathetically inadequate fence around a key defence base, where a few snips with bolt-cutters can collapse 100ft of wire netting. Only in the last fornight has a fence approved by security experts been erected, allowing substantial reductions in policing.
Secondly, the pathological hatred of the women by key Tories on Newbury District Council to the refusal to consider a negotiated dissent area. Their latest triumph has been to change the bye-Laws to make it an offence to light fires, just as the Chief Constable issued braziers against the bitter weather to the police.
The third falling is that elected members have no say in policing Common strategy, so the Chief Constable errs well on the safe side in his ground cover. Trewor Brown is a Liberal member of the Thames Valley Police Authority.
SUNDAY 11 DECEMBER is a 'Day of Reflection' at Greenham with the theme 'turn the base inside out'. Women only are asked to turn up with mirrors to direct at the soldiers so that they can see themselves, and 'any tools which may be necessary'.

Sarah Benton adds
SIX WOMEN from Greenham Common walked free from Highbury Magistrates Court last week - the first time any women from Greenham brought before magistrates have not incurred a penalty.
The women had climbed into Holloway prison and staged a protest on the roof in February. The police brought them before the court for them to show why they should not be bound over to keep the peace. Mr Parkinson the magistrate unexpectedly agreed to their lawyers' claim that the women should be allowed to call evidence in their defence.
The police argued that the women's trespass had caused a disturbance in the prison. This, according to Holloway prison officers, took the form of a lot of shouting and singing - 'It would be very difficult if women sang all the time in prison' said one. As a consequence, the prisoners had to be locked in their cells for longer than usual.
Defence lawyers argued that the women prisoners were confined to their cells for a long time anyway because of staff shortages. Carol Harwood, who had been sent to Holloway prison in 1963 [sic] for a protest outside Greenham Common air base, testified that the normal I level of banging and shouting inside the prison was so high that staff ignored shouts of distress from inmates. Mr Parkinson, apparently disconcerted to find that a high level of disturbance inside Holloway was the norm, refused to bind the six women over. His decision makes it less likely that police will try this particular form of legal discipline again.

Source: New Statesman. Vol. 105. No. 2716, 8 April 1983 p. 5.

Staving off the crowd

THE MEDIA made much of the fact that one policeman was hurt at the demonstration at Greenham Common on Sunday (eg Daily Mall front page: 'Police Inspector knocked out at Greenham "peace" protest'). Newbury police have admitted that he was hurt accidentally when a concrete post fell over, wile at least 100 women were injured, mostly deliberately, by police wrenching their hands from the fence or soldiers hitting their hands with sticks as they held on to the wire. The silos containing the cruise missiles were defended by two rings of soldiers, British on the outside, and US military personnel armed with staves on the inside.

[Source: New Statesman. Vol. 106. No. 2752/53, 16/23 December 1983 p. 4.]

Report from a Greenham woman.

The Southern Resister for Peace and Justice for All, 1986, November, No. 9.
The Southern Resister for Peace and Justice for All, 1986, November, No. 9.

Peace Action, People for Nuclear Disarmament - Australia. No. 32 August 1984.

The following update is taken from a recent letter to Marian Hill from Rose Walters, a veteran Greenham Common woman.
… "The women actually living there have been through some pretty grim times but they never give up. In fact, I am certain that whilst a Cruise Missile is standing at the base there will always be women surrounding it.
"In spite of evictions and imprisonments, there are more women there now than previously. Every gate has a camp-outside it. After the last evictions, which the Government had thought would be the last and final clearance of the Peace Camp, both the bailiffs and the police were particularly rough.
"I was there on the morning when the eviction had been threatened, and there were so many women sitting around, the bailiff decided not to carry out his instructions. That shows what body power we have!
"… W e send greetings and thanks to all those giving us both moral and financial support."

Violence at Greenham
We demand an end to the escalating violence against us! Last night (Nov. 15, 1988) a cruise missile convoy left USAF Greenham Common, violating the spirit of the INF treaty. Convoy drivers threw a 6-foot pointed iron stake at women protesting nonviolently at the roadside in full view of the police. They also jettisoned a further five 3-foot iron stakes, which were collected and taken back into the base by military police. This is the latest and worst in a long series of incidents of police violence against us. Police later refused to take complaints. Write to Chief Constable, Thames Valley Police H.Q., Kidlington, Oxford, England.
Yellow Gate, Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp, Near Newbury, Berks. RG14 7AS
Source: Peace Magazine Feb/Mar 1989, p.5. Letters;

Return to Greenham Common.
The Guardian, Tuesday August 6, 2002.

House of Commons Hansard for 23 July 1990
RAF Greenham Common
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many persons have been removed from RAF Greenham Common since 12 July.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : Members of the public were escorted from RAF Greenham Common on 128 occasions between 12 and 22 July 1990. This figure does not refer to 128 different people as many individuals have been escorted from the base on more than one occasion.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current policy of the Ministry of Defence police towards members of the public walking within the confines of the perimeter fence at RAF Greenham Common.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : RAF Greenham Common is Ministry of Defence property and there is no general right of access to it. The current policy of the Ministry of Defence police towards members of the public walking within the confines of the perimeter fence at the station is that trespassers who have committed no criminal damage will be escorted from the site, while persons who are suspected to having committed an offence, for example criminal damage, will be arrested and charged accordingly. The police wil not prevent the valid exercise of commoners' rights by those who are entitled to do so.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many arrests there have been within the confines of the perimeter fence at RAF Greenham Common since 12 July.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : There were 16 arrests within the confines of the perimeter fence at RAF Greenham Common between 12 and 22 July, all in connection with instances of criminal damage.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if members of the public found within the confines of the perimeter fence at RAF Greenham Common are requested to leave before being placed into Ministry of Defence police vehicles.
Mr. Archie Hamilton : It is Ministry of Defence policy that members of the public found within the confines of the perimeter fence at RAF Greenham Common are requested to leave before being escorted off the base. For their own safety, trespassers are always taken to the base exit in MOD vehicles if it is beyond reasonable walking distance.

Wiping the record clean

Picture source:

Since the 12 July [1990] judgment in the House of Lords, anyone who has been found guilty of an offence under the Greenham byelaws is entitled to have their conviction reversed and claim for damages or the restitution of their fine and costs, or both. Even those who were not charged or found guilty of an offence may be able to claim for damages.

If you've been charged under any other military byelaw, you should be able to get your case adjourned pending the outcome of an appeal against a Mildenhall magistrate's court ruling in a case under the Lakenheath Byelaws thatt)tey are not "known to law' because, like all military byelaws introduced in the 1980s, they have not been published by Her Majesty's Stationers' Office (HMSO). However, this will not be automatic - its up to the person concerned to take action.

Greenham woman Indra Morris noted that many of the more than 1000 women arrested at Greenham since 1985 live abroad, while others have no record of their conviction dates or the amount of their fines.
Peace News, No. 2332, August 1990.

Hansard Debates for 30 November 1990:

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what has been the number of complaint cases made against members of the Ministry of Defence police at RAF Greenham Common since the byelaws were declared invalid ;

(2) how many complaint matters have been received against members of the Ministry of Defence police at RAF Greenham Common since the byelaws were declared invalid ; and if he will list them in the 13 categories used by the Police Complaints Authority.

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle : Between 12 July 1990, the date of the House of Lords judgment on the validity of byelaw 2(b), and 27 November 1990, 34 complaint cases against MOD police officers at RAF Greenham Common were recorded in accordance with section 85(1) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

These involved a total of 53 complaint matters. Details in the form requested are as follows :

(i) Incivility 5
(ii) Assault 16
(iii) Irregularity in procedure --
(iv) Traffic irregularity 1
(v) Neglect of duty --
(vi) Corrupt practice --
(vii) Mishandling of property --
(viii) Irregularity in relation to evidence/perjury --
(ix) Oppressive conduct or harassment 7
(x) Irregular arrest 5
(xi) Irregular stop/search 2
(xii) Irregular search of premises 7
(xiii) Other 10

All these complaints were made by a small number of women associated with protest activity at RAF Greenham Common.

Crises at Greenham?

Beatrix Campbell, Sanity, November 1987 pp. [18]-21.

With a superpower deal in sight which would rid Greenham Common of Cruise missiles, the women who have been camping there for more than six years should have cause to celebrate. But there are disturbing reports from Greenham of division, centred on Yellow Gate. Beatrix Campbell reports on the group at the centre of the dispute, Wages for Housework, based at the King's Cross Women's Centre. And we reprint a statement agreed by women from the other gates at Greenham.

Greenham Peace Vigil Newsletter, summer 1987.
Cruisewatch after INF. CND Campaign, February, 1988 p. 11.
Greenham Newsletter, November 1990
Greenham Newsletter, spring '90
The last know Greenham newsletters. Artists: Siss Cosmic and Siss Intense.
Greenham Newsletter, November 1990
Greenham Newsletter, Summer 1992
Greenham Newsletter, Spring 1993
Greenham Network Newsletter, March 1994
The disused Control Tower building at the now derelic
Greenham Common Airbase.
© Copyright Brendan and Ruth McCartney and licenced for reuse under
the Creative Commons Licence.
Entrance to the New Greenham Park
This business park is situated across a couple of squares. This entrance, near the memorial garden is in the northern half of the square. The square is characterised by commercial enterprises, farmland, residences, recreational facilities and the Peace Garden.
© Copyright Pam Brophy and licenced for reuse under
the Creative Commons Licence.
Helen's Garden, The Peace Garden at Greenham Common 1
Helen's Garden, The Peace Garden at Greenham Common.
Helen's Garden, The Peace Garden at Greenham Common 2
The Greenham March Statue by Anton Agous of Malta in Cardiff
The Greenham March Statue by Anton Agous of Malta in Cardiff

Greenham Women Everywhere

A statement by women from Blue, Woad, Orange and Green Gates, Women's Peace Camp, Greenham Common

A bitter dispute has erupted between a small group of women at Yellow Gate and the rest of camp. These women are refusing all dialogue, forcing us to conclude that any further attempts at rational communication are futile. They are allied with Wages for Housework Campaign, of the King's Cross Women's Centre, whose standards and aims they have come to accept. This is not simply an internal dispute, but was initiated by Wages for Housework, which has a reputation for disrupting women's groups. Examples include the Women's Peace Bus Collective and WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women).
King's Cross women are now maintaining a presence at Yellow Gate and tactics of intimidation and verbal abuse are being used there to alienate not just the women at camp but also Greenham's support networks and all those whose goodwill we seek.
At a 'Greenham Women Are Everywhere' workshop at the Moscow Women's Peace Conference, Wilmette Brown spoke at length about the work of King's Cross, Wages for Housework and her book. She was interrupted and asked to return to the original theme (Greenham Women Are Everywhere). This was interpreted as a racist attack and the allegation has escalated so that now almost all Greenham women are denounced/labelled as racists. In this way, the term 'racist' - and, more recently, 'rape' - has been repeatedly misused and emptied of any meaningful content. The transferral of this charge of racism occurred with the approval of two long-standing Greenham women from Yellow Gate, whom the King's Cross Centre thereafter designated as our 'leaders,' and who have since taken action and made press statements as though they indeed had the authority to represent Greenham Common Women's Peace camp.
Despite the conflicts at Greenham, women from all gates, united with our supporters, have remained strong and determined to maintain our principles of non-violence, non-hierarchy, and protest against nuclear warfare. Our struggle for these things incorporates now, as it always has, an explicitly anti-racist stand. To quote Linda from the Hackney edition of Greenham Women in London Newsletter:
'Raclsm is an issue for all of us, Black and white, and the fact that Greenham has always been predominantly a movement of white women means that there are questions that we must ask ourselves. Most of us get involved politically at the point at which we are most directly touched: It must be true for many Black women that there are issues more immediate for them than that of the removal of nuclear weapons. The fact that we struggle on different fronts does not make one struggle less valid than another, so long as our ultimate goals are the removal of oppressive systems which limit us all. It is also true that involvement with Greenham has enabled many women to further their understanding of the links between arms expenditure, third world exploitation and its consequent poverty, racism, violence against women and children ... we could all add to the list.'
We alfirm that we will not use coercion against anyone. We have no leaders, because we each accept responsibility for our action, and we know that it is only through dialogue with all women that our struggle will succeed.
The recent INF agreement and the ongoing case against the byelaws (soon to be before the House of Lords) make this a particularly crucial moment for Greenham Women Everywhere. Please send correspondence addressed to any of the gates listed above.
Because of a dispute between the signatories the building society has frozen the account. A new account has been opened, anyone who wishes to send donations should make cheques payable to 'Greenham Women Are Everywhere' and addressed to individual gates.

A new newsletter is avaibable from Woad Gate, Women's Peace Camp, Greenham Common, Newbury, Berlcshire. The newsletter is free, women donate as they can.

The protest against the cruise missile continued at Greenham Common after the signing of the INF-treaty.

[Source: Latest Cruise News. Greenham Common Newsletter, Summer 1989 p. 13.]

In 1987 Greenham women bought the Sanctuary, a 1/3 acre plot near the base, to meet womens' need away from the Gates.

[Source: Greenham Newsletter, November 1990 p. 4.]

Now Greenham women are everywhere.

[The Greenham Peace Vigil Newsletter is known to have been published 1987-1989. Publisher Greenham Peace Vigil, London.]

The last issue of the Greenham newsletter was published in November 1990.

[Cruisewatch after INF. Source: CND Campaign, February, 1988 p. 11.]

The Peace Dividend

Andrew Brookes
Andrew Brookes is a former RAF reconnaissance and bomber pilot. He was a NATO Nuclear Release Officer and the last operational RAF Commander at the Greenham Common cruise missile base...
[ ]

Airfield sales add millions to peace dividend
Michael Evans, Defence Correspondent

The Times. April 15, 1995.

THE Ministry of Defence is hoping to raise hundreds of millions of pounds through the sale of 22 airfields made redundant since the end of the Cold War. The RAF airfields, covering more than 20,000 acres, appear on a “for sale” list of MoD real estate that also includes six Army bases.

The decision by ministers to close dozens of bases in the wake of post-Cold War defence cuts and the return to the United States of many American air force squadrons has handed housing authorities a unique chance to snap up valuable land for development.

The MoD is Britain’s biggest landowner, with an area equivalent to 1 per cent of the United Kingdom. In the past ten years it has raised nearly £800 million from the sale of land and properties.

United States Bases/Forces

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the United States bases that have been handed back to the United Kingdom Government since 1974, indicating in each case (a) who paid for the restoration of the area and (b) what the cost was. [154761]
Mr. Caplin: The United States bases that have been returned to the Ministry of Defence since 1988 are listed as follows. No earlier information is available.
Records about who paid for the restoration and at what cost are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate costs.

US bases handed back to MOD since 1988

Site/Facility Type Service Returned to MOD

Bramley (S/S) USAF 1 January 1988
RAF Ridgewell (S/S) USAF 3 August 1989
RAF Wethersfield (SDB) USAF 1 October 1990
RAF Chessington (Hosp) USAF 18 September 1991
RAF Kirknewton (Hosp) USAF 26 September 1991
RAF Hullavington (S/S) USAF 30 September 1991
RAF Lanark (Hosp) USN 3 December 1991
Greatworth (Comms) USAF 8 February 1992
Great Bromley (Comms) USAF 1 May 1992
Holy Loch (S/S) USN 17 June 1992
Broughton Moor (NAD) 30 June 1992
Martlesham Heath (Comms) USAF 1 July 1992
RAF Kemble S/S USAF 31 July 1992
Glen Douglas (NAD) 20 September 1992
RAF Greenham Common (SDB) USAF 30 September 1992
RAF Locking (Hosp) USN 1 October 1992
RAF Sculthorpe (SDB) USAF 2 October 1992
Cairnmore Hilloch (Comms) USN 28 October 1992
RAF Inverbervie (Comms) USN 28 October 1992
Latheron (Comms) USN 28 October 1992
West Murkle (Comms) USN 28 October 1992
Aberdeen (Comms) USN 10 November 1992
RAF Kinnaber (Comms) USN 21 January 1993
RAF Woodbridge (MOB) USAF 20 August 1993
RAF Burtonwood S/S USAF 26 August 1993
Forss (Comms) USN 14 September 1993
RAF Bentwaters (MOB) USAF 30 September 1993
Mormond Hill (Comms) USAF 7 October 1993
RAF Caerwent (S/S) USAF 30 November 1993
RAF Watton (S/S) USAF 12 May 1994
RAF Bicester (S/S) USAF 30 June 1994
RAF Little Rissington (Hosp) USAF 30 June 1994
RAF Upper Hayford (MOB) USAF 30 Sept 1994
RAF Machrihanish (S/S) USN 30 June 1995
RAF Brawdy (S/S) USN 30 September 1995
RAF Chicksands (Comms) USAF 30 September 1995
RAF Chilwell (S/S) USAF 30 September 1995
Framlingham (S/S) USAF 30 September 1995
RAF Nocton Hall (Hosp) USAF 30 September 1995
RAF Alconbury (Airfield) (MOB) USAF 1 October 1995
Oakington (S/S) USAF 20 February 1996
RAF Edzell (Comms) USN 30 September 1997

[House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 23 Feb 2004
Picture source: ]

Northcote Airfield, Humberside
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what sum Northcote airfield, Humberside was sold. [40294]
Mr. Soames: It is not our practice to disclose the sale price of surplus property as this information is commercially confidential. [sic].

[House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 14 Oct 1996
URL= ]

Within two years the 800 acres of common will be grazed by cattle as it was for hundreds of years before being taken over by the Air Ministry before the Second World War. Some 200 people from Newbury, Berks, including David Rendel, their Liberal Democrat MP, and local councillors, gathered at the fence yesterday to bring it down. Helpfully, most of the fence had been loosened leaving it secured only by a thin strand of wire, making the job easier than that which faced the thousands of "peace women" who once circled the base and attempted to break in. Six of the women, who still live in a camp outside an entrance to the old base, used their bolt cutters on the fence, an action which in the past had seen some of them jailed. A degree of animosity between the women and some local people remains. Sarah Hipperson, 69, was shouted down while making a speech on behalf of the peace women claiming credit for having the common restored to public ownership.

"An area which was used for war is now being used for peace. This is a momentous day," Mr Rendel said.
Fleet, Michael: 200 help Greenham reclaim its common.
Electronic Telegraph, September 15, 1997.

Dug in, dug up
The Times, September 4, 1995
GREENHAM COMMON, where muddy campers for so long raged against the presence of weapons of mass destruction, is being recycled. But the apparently eco-friendly decision to give the runways and loading bays a new use may simply fuel the ire of the descendants of the Greenham "wimmin": motorway protesters.
Bulldozers have moved onto the Berkshire site to demolish the 20 acres of concrete that form the runways, taxiways and dispersal areas of the base, which looks likely to revert to heathland under new plans. Newbury District Council has formed a trust to buy the airfield from the Ministry of Defence,and the concrete is to be used in building projects.
"I expect the peace movement would be encouraged to see that the concrete is being reused in a way that helps to reduce excavation of natural resources. Everything possible is being recycled," says Mark Isaac, co-ordinator of the project.

Busby, Ann: Women end Greenham protest after 19 years.
CNN, September 6, 2000.


Tuesday 25 March 1997
Today (Tuesday) is the end of an era in Newbury, when the Greenham Common Trust becomes the new owner of the former Greenham Common airbase.

The signing of the contract to complete the transfer of ownership to Greenham Common Trust was conducted in a special ceremony at the airbase today, between representatives of the Ministry of Defence, Greenham Common Trust and Newbury District Council.

The over 840 acres of land and one million square feet of buildings in New Greenham Business Park, in which more than 500 people are currently employed, now become the property of the Newbury-based Greenham Common Trust. The Trust was founded by its chairman Sir Peter Michael CBE in 1994, with the principal objective of managing the open land and business park for the benefit of the local community.

The Greenham Common Trust is a unique partnership between the private and public sector. The £7 million purchase price has been funded largely by a loan from Barclays Bank and enables the Common land and open areas to be returned immediately to the Newbury District Council for a nominal sum. It is the intention, once restoration and safety measures have taken place, that part of the perimeter fence will be taken down to provide open access to areas of the Common land. The Special Sites of Scientific Interest and conservation areas will be retained and managed for future generations to enjoy.

Greenham and Crookham Commons Act 2002
[1st May 2002]
An Act to restore land at and in the vicinity of the Greenham and Crookham Commons as common land open to the public; to make provision for the conservation of the natural beauty of that land; to grant public access over that land in perpetuity and to make provision with respect to that public access; to restore and extend commoners' rights over that land; to constitute the Greenham and Crookham Common Commission for the management of that land; to confer powers on the West Berkshire District Council and on that Commission with respect to that land; and for connected and other purposes...

Helen's Garden

A PEACE protester killed at Greenham common has had a garden opened in her memory this autumn [2002].
Helen Thomas died at the US air force base 13 years ago this week when she was struck by a police horse box.
Part of the site includes a garden dedicated to the 22-year-old peace campaigner from Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthenshire.
Ms Thomas, who had been working for Cardiff Women's Aid, joined the peace camp just two months before she died.
Her family and fellow protesters believe the full truth about her death has yet to be revealed.
At an inquest, which recorded a verdict of accidental death, police said she deliberately stepped out into the road, while onlookers claimed the truck deliberately swerved towards her.

Peace women take to their trucks
Helen Mound
The Times, July 8, 1995
Members of Women’s Aid to Former Yugoslavia tell Helen Mound about their risky, motorised mission.
The women gazed in horror at the television pictures of shells blasting into the riverside village of Pakrac in Croatia. They were watching in the safety of their sitting rooms in Britain; only days before, they had been waving to friends as they left the village at the start of the long drive home.
Some of the women started their peaceful protests against war ten years ago, when they were fighting nuclear weapons on Greenham Common, in Berkshire. Now they are driving through it or, at least, near it. Ippy Dokus, the group’s only driver with a Heavy Goods Vehicle licence, admits: “There is always an underlying feeling of danger.”

The Greenham Common nuclear weapons base was completly disarmed just like the Berlin Wall of the Cold War.

Today Great Britain only has the sea based Trident nuclear weapons because,

The White Paper of 2003 indicated the need for a decision on Britain’s nuclear future in this Parliament. The Whitehall inquiry is thought to have focused on a submarine-based solution. Replacements for the existing Vanguard-class submarines could be built in British shipyards, helping to safeguard jobs. Officials are also keen to avoid the potential protests that might be focused on a land-based delivery system such as the Americans had at Greenham Common in the 1980s.

Source: The US Defense Treaty Inspection Readiness Program: Weekly Treaty Review, 27 May – 2 June 2005.

US still have nuclear weapons installations in Europe and in the UK.
[Source: U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe, 2005 ; A review of post-Cold War policy, force levels, and war planning.
URL= ]

Greenham Airforce documents.

And there are continued protests against them:

Greenham Common Women on the March.
London Sunday Times, August 4, 1996.

Jury Unable to Reach a Verdict in Burghfield Plowshares Action.

McSmith, Andy: Revealed: Blair's nuclear bombshell
October 17, 2005
The Independent & the Independent on Sunday

Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill [sic]
Hansard, Thursday 20 January 2005

...Thirdly, I have a nagging suspicion that subsection (3)(c) could be used and, in my view, abused to define as criminal trespass entry on to land that is used for purposes that are way beyond those that might be defined as sensitive or relating to national security. I can imagine such a power being used in the past at Greenham Common, or today outside RAF Fairford, now a United States air force base. The base is protected by virtue of being Crown land, but the land outside is not, and we have already seen arrests by the Gloucestershire police for peaceful demonstrations outside RAF Fairford against its use by United States aircraft. Questions have been raised about the legality of that police action. It is not hard to imagine a Secretary of State being prevailed upon to say that land outside MOD land, or outside land used by Allied forces, required designation in the interest of national security.


Resources on Women’s Peace Camps

By: Wendy E. Chmielewski


Institutions which hold primary source material:

Genesis: Developing Access to Women's History Sources in the British Isles a database to search for primary collections on women's history in the UK

Modern Records Center, University of Warwick Records of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Feminist Archive (South)
Several collections of Greenham women

Imperial War Museum, Sound Archives
Several interviews with Greenham women

British Library, National Sound Archive
Interviews of Greenham women by Jean Taylor

Women's Library (at London Metropolitan University)
Several collections on Greenham

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library (at the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University USA)
Lots of material on Greenham in the records of the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice

International Institute for Social History
Archives Dora Winifred Russell
Documents concerning the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp. 1982-1984.

Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Small collection on Greenham, and records of the Greenham Women Against Cruise (court case in US against administration of Ronald Reagan)

Peace Pledge Union
Has its own archives and probably has material on Greenham

Other Peace Camps-some of these camps were long term, others just for a few days, most identified with Greenham

Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice (USA)
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library (at the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University USA)
large collection of records of the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice

Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Small collection on WEFPJ, also additional material in records of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section

Philadelphia Women's Peace Camp (USA)
collection on solidarity camp with Greenham and WEFPJ
Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Puget Sound Women's Peace Camp, (USA)
small collection, includes newsletters
Swarthmore College Peace Collection

More information needed on the following camps and camps in the following countries:

La Ragnatella (Comiso, Sicily)
Pine Gap/Alice Springs (Alice Springs, Australia)
Cole Bay Peace Camp (Saskatchewan, Canada)

Contemporary magazines which published on women peace camps (published on Greenham and camps in other countries):

  1. Off Our Backs (US)
  2. Peace News (UK)
  3. Spare Rib (UK)
  4. WRI Newsletter (Belgium)
  5. New Women's Times (US)
  6. Nuclear Free Press (US)
  7. Guardian (US)

Books and other items published on the peace camps (organized by author), some of these are obscure and hard to find, but at least one library in the US or the UK has a copy.

The gates of Greenham : libretto / Tony Biggin
English Book 80 p. : ill., 1 plan ; 15 cm.
Caernarfon (Llandwrog, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL54 5TG) : Sain (Recordiau), 1985.

“The gates of Greenham [a peace passion for today” / Tony Biggin; John Hywel
English Sound Recording : Music : LP recording 2 sound discs : analog, 33 1/3 rpm, stereo. ; 12 in.
Caenarfon [Wales] : Sain,

Look to the women for courage [kit] : stories from the Seneca Encampment for Peace and Justice / by JEB [Joan E. Biren]
Washington D.C. (2111 Florida Ave. N.W., Washington D.C. 20008) : Washington Peace Center, [1984?]
140 slides : col. ; 2 x 2 in. + cassette (42 min.), information packet.

Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice : images and writings / compiled by Mima Cataldo ... [et al.]
Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 1987.

Greenham women everywhere : dreams, ideas and actions from the Women's Peace Movement / Alice Cook & Gwyn Kirk.
Boston, MA : South End Press, c1983.

The women of Greenham , by Nick Franklin
English Sound Recording : Non-music : Cassette tape 1 sound cassette (45 min.)
Sydney : A.B.C., 1983.

“Raging womyn : in reply to Breaching the peace : a comment on the women's liberation movement and the common womyn's peace camp at Greenham.” By Jean Freer

Greenham Common : women at the wire / Barbara Harford, Sarah Hopkins.
London : Women's Press, 1984.

Rocking the ship of state : toward a feminist peace politics / edited by Adrienne Harris, Ynestra King.
Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, 1989.

Peace camps sing [sound recording]
New York, N.Y. : Tallapoosa Music, 1987.
1 sound cassette : analog, stereo., Dolby processed ; 1/8 in. tape.
Performed by Helen and Hershi, Seneca Singers, Cassandra and others.

Greenham :
Non-Violent Women -v- the Crown Prerogative / Hipperson, Sarah, 1927- ; Junor, Beth,; 1958-
London : Greenham,
vi, 183 p. : photos. ; 21 cm. 2005.

Granny lives at Greenham : a picture book for ages 5-10 / Jackson, Jacqueline.
[S.l.] : J. Jackson, Year: 1986

Carry Greenham home [videorecording] / made by Beeban Kidron and Amanda Richardson.
New York : Women Make Movies, c1983.
1 videocassette (VHS)(66 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.

And the fence came tumbling down Knock, Tim. ; King, Sophie.
Corp Author(s): Spirit Earth Productions. ; Atomic Mirror (Firm) Publication: [S.l.] :; Atomic Mirror,
1 videocassette (11 min.) :; sd., col. ;; 1/2 in. 2001.

Nuclear summer : the clash of communities at the Seneca women's peace encampment / Louise Krasniewicz.
Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 1992.

“The difference within : the politics of representation, identity and gender informing the 1983 Seneca Women's Peace Encampment,” by Louise Krasniewicz. Thesis (Ph. D.) --The University at Albany, State University of New York, 1988.

The road to Greenham Common : feminism and anti-militarism in Britain since 1820 / Jill Liddington.
Syracuse University Press ed.
Syracuse, N.Y. : Syracuse University Press, 1991. (We also have a UK edition of this book)

Common women, uncommon practices : the queer feminisms of Greenham / Sasha Roseneil
Book vii, 340 p. : map ; 24 cm.
London ; New York : Cassell, 2000.

Disarming patriarchy : feminism and political action at Greenham / Sasha Roseneil
Buckingham ; Philadelphia : Open University Press, 1995.

“Feminist political action : the case of the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp.” By Roseneil, Sasha.
Standard No: National Library: G02629025
Note(s): Dissertation: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of London, 1994.

“The origins of women's collective action : the case of Greenham / Sasha Roseneil”
Book 24 p. ; 30 cm.
Leeds : University of Leeds, Dept. of Social Policy and Sociol, 1992.

“Women in protest and beyond : Greenham Common and mining support groups.” Monica Patricia Shaw English Book [1 v.] University of Durham, 1993.

“Woman is nature is woman : media exploitation of the Greenham metaphor “/ Slough, Rebecca.
Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies.
Edgbaston, Birmingham : Dept. of Cultural Studies, University of Birmingham,
41 p. ; 30 cm.
Series: Stencilled occasional paper. Woman series ;; SP No. 84; Variation: Stencilled occasional paper ;; SP no. 84.; Women series. 1988.

Stronger than before [videorecording] : the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice / produced by Women's Video Collective.
Cambridge, Mass. : Women's Video Collective, c1983.
1 videocassette (28 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
VHS format.

The Greenham challenge [videorecording] : bringing missiles to trial / by Linda and Peter Wiesner., Newtown, PA : Wiesner Associates, c1987.
1 videocassette (44 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
Pam Blake, Jerry Donelly.
VHS format.

“Piano trio : Greenham, Seneca, Camiso [Comiso] “/ Wolff, Christian, 1934-
New York, N.Y. :; C.F. Peters,
Description: 1 score (12 p.) ;; 36 cm.
Standard No: Publisher: Edition Peters no. 67138; C.F. Peters 1987.

“Dispersing the commonplace : the press representation of Greenham Common,” By Young, Alison.
Standard No: National Library: G01911228
Dissertation: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Cambridge, 1988.

Peace camps sing [sound recording]
New York, N.Y. : Tallapoosa Music, 1987.
1 sound cassette : analog, stereo., Dolby processed ; 1/8 in. tape.
Performed by Helen and Hershi, Seneca Singers, Cassandra and others.
Beth's song / Helen (Helen and Hershi) (5:07) -- We circle around the boundaries of the earth (Seneca Singers) (0:35) -- When every woman in this world (Seneca Singers) (0:58) -- You can't kill the spirit (Seneca Singers) (1:54) -- Women are gonna rise up (Seneca Singers) (1:42) -- P.C.C. to the Rev / Helen and Hershi (2:39) -- Fuck off sexist pigs / Hershi (Helen and Hershi) (3:04) -- You've got to stand up and speak your mind (Seneca Singers) (0:50) --We're shameless hussies (Seneca Singers) (0:50) -- Layabout song (Seneca Singers) (1:50) -- My old mom's a lesbo (Cassandra) (1:15) -- I'm a dyke (Pinky, Trigger) (1:30) -- Here's a message to the boys in blue (Jo) (0:06) --Which side are you on? (Jo) (0:42) -- Eviction blues (Cassandra) (0:30) -- Ron with the neutron bomb (Seneca Singers) (1:25) -- Blood on your hands / Hershi (Helen and Hershi) (1:47)

Rise with the fires of freedom (Seneca Singers) (0:43)
-- Rocka my soul in the bosom of sisterhood (Seneca Singers) (1:03) -- Listen to my heart's song (Seneca Singers) (0:45) -- Ain't gonna make no war no more (Susan and Sorrel) (0:47) -- Were you there when they bombed Hiroshima? (Jo) (0:27) -- We are the weavers (Seneca Singers) (1:35) -- [Kady and Cassie, on jail] (0:45) -- Hold me (Cassandra) (0:56) -- Metal vibrations (Cassandra) (1:03) -- Rivers are flowing (Cassandra) (1:50) -- Just like a river (Seneca Singers) (0:58) -- Beautiful / Helen (Helen and Hershi) (4:10) -- You can't kill the spirit; Barbara Deming Memorial Service, Manhattan (1 :04) -- Circle for survival (Seneca Singers) (2:38) -- Revolution talk (Helen and Hershi) (2:59) -- Smash the system (Helen and Hershi) (2:04) -- Come join our circle forming; Evening circle, Seneca, 1985 (0:42) -- Women are watching, and drumming; "Not in our name" march, 1984 (0:36) -- Ronald Reagan, can you hear? (Seattle Peace Women) (0:26) -- Swift as the wind (Seattle Singers, Cassandra) (0:42) -- Yips and yowls; "Not in our name" march (0:20)

See also:

Enloe, Cynthia: Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics.
University of California Press, 2001.

Feminist Archive South: Personal Histories of the Second Wave of Feminism vol 1 and vol 2. 2001 ; 2003.

Glasgow University Media Reader: News Content, Language and Visuals.
Routledge (UK). 1995.

Roseneil, Sasha: Common women, uncommon practices : the queer feminisms of Greenham. Cassell, 2000.

Young, Alison: Femininity in dissent. Routledge, 1990.

Witte Garland, Anne: Women Activists: Challenging the Abuse of Power.
The Feminist Press at City University of New York, 1988. - 146 pp.


Chmielewski, Wendy E.: "Women 'Climbing the Fence for Peace': Transatlantic Connections in the Anti-Nuclear Peace Movement, " presented at the Crosstown Traffic:, Anglo-American Cultural Exchange since 1865 Conference, University of Warwick, Warwick, UK, July 5, 2004.

Chmielewski, Wendy E.: "Hot food and Hot Tea during the Cold War or 'Even people who are trying to change the world occasionally need to eat': The Role of Food and Gender at the Greenham Common and Seneca, NY Women's Peace Camps," presented at the American Historical Association Conference, Washington, D.C., January 10, 2004.

Chmielewski, Wendy E.: "Women's Friendships, Women's Politics: The Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice," presented at "The Complex Web of Women's Friendships Conference," Maine Women Writers Collection of the University of New England, Portland, Maine, June 20-22, 2002.

Chmielewski, Wendy E.: "Women, Peace, and the Anti-Nuclear Movement: From Greenham to Seneca," Plenary presenter, Student Conference of the Southeastern Women's Studies Association Conference, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, March 15, 2001.

Chmielewski, Wendy E.: "Feminism Critiques Militarism," presented at the Southeastern Women's Studies Association Conference, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida ,March 16, 2001.

Chmielewski, Wendy E.: "Resisting Nuclear Madness: The Utopian Vision of the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice," presented at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, New Brunswick, New Jersey, February 6, 2001.

Chmielewski, Wendy E.: "Community and Protest at the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice," present at the 27th Annual Conference of the Communal Studies Association, Ephrata, Pennsylvania September 28-30, 2000.

Chmielewski, Wendy E.: "`Climbing the Fence for Peace:' A Comparison of the Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice and Greenham Common," Annual Central Women's Studies Conference, "Women as Agents of Change," Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, March 25, 2000.


Benton, Sarah: Mass policy. New Statesman. Vol. 104, 1982. No. 2698 p. 10.

Caldecott, Leonie: We like you Yanks but not your bombs. Sanity, No. 6, 1981 pp. 10-11.

Campbell, Duncan: Greenham Common : A look behind the wire. New Statesman. Vol. 104, 1982. No. 2702 p. 5.

Dibblin, Jane: Women blokade gates at Greenham. E.N.D. Bulletin. No. 9, 1982 p. 6.

Editorial: Greenham's uncommon women. New Statesman. Vol. 104, 1982. No. 2700/2701 p. 3.

Mass arrest at Greenham. Newbury Weekley News, June 28, 1962.

Mayes, Jane: Greenham Women: A magic circle of resistance. Disarmament Campaigns, No. 43. April 1985 p. 3.

The Mysterious Events at Greenham Common / Shirley Farlinger (interviewer); Kim Besley and Peg Ridge (interviewees).
Peace Magazine [Canada] Dec 1989/Jan 1990, p.10.

Peace camps update. Disarmament Campaigns, No. 15, October 1982 p. 9.

Perritt, Giles: Refuse the cruise. Second Generation, [1983?] No. 10 pp. 8-9.

Pratt, Colin: Greenham Women will be kicked out. Daily Express, March 17, 1984.

Ridard, Bernadette: Greenham : A lesson for old activists. WRI Newsletter, No. 197. 1983 pp. 11-12.

Simpson, Tony: Happy 5th birthday, Nuclear Free Wales. Sanity, February, 1987 pp. 16-19.

Snitow, Ann: Holding the line at Greenham. Mother Jones, Feb./March 1985 pp. 30-34 & 39-47.

Squatters in court. Newbury Weekley News, June 28, 1962.

A vision : 10 million women in 10 days. Greenham Common, Green Gate. [1984]. - 2 pp.

Whyte, Alison: A peace woman scorned. Sanity, November 1985 pp. 22-[25].


Life and death -Pinki/ Tanith
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Pinki / Tanith / Rebecca Livingston plus her obituary from the Guardian May 24, 1996.
A founding member of Greenham Common.


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