Old Leeds soldier’s battle for justice lasting 50 years

John Margerison. PIC: Tony Johnson
John Margerison. PIC: Tony Johnson
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John Margerison has been fighting for 50 years to prove that army gunfire made him deaf.

It was in 1964 as a young soldier when he was testing new weapons in Hong Kong that the former soldier’s eardrums were blasted by the noise, as he wore no protection.

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He was disabled out of the army and sent home, but his perforated ear drums developed an infection and later bacterial meningitis, which left him fighting for his life.

Ever since, he has since been battling for justice from the government trying to prove he was injured in the line of duty as a communications expert with the 49th Field Regiment Royal Artillery.

This would mean he gets an army pension, but instead has been left with nothing.

He turned super sleuth and said: “I have found there were two sets of documents, one falsified. I have the proof. It has taken a lifetime and had a serious impact on my health. My family has suffered with the constant paperwork and administration.

“For the last 16 years I’ve represented myself in all court cases against the Ministry of Defence and this government.”

Great grandfather Mr Margerison, 73, from Moortown, later worked as a mechanic at Tetley Brewery, before retiring early so he could dedicate his life to a battle against the Ministry of Defence.

Fabian Hamilton MP for Leeds north east, said: “Mr Margerison is an honest and decent man who only ever wanted what he was due and no more. He has a strong case but there has been a clear conspiracy to deny him a pension.

“I fully support my constituent in his continuing struggle for justice and will never give up on him. His is my longest running case.”

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said: “We cannot discuss the details of individual cases. The War Pensions Scheme (WPS) provides no-fault compensation for injuries, including hearing loss, caused by service up to 6 April 2005. Claims may be made from service termination and there is no time limit. All claims are carefully considered on the available service and medical evidence and a right of appeal exists against all decisions made by the MOD.”

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