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Greenham Common campaigner Helen Thomas honoured

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Summary of story from BBC News, November 8, 2011

A memorial has been unveiled to a Welsh woman who died during protests at Greenham Common airbase in Berkshire in 1989.

Helen Thomas, aged 22, from Newcastle Emlyn in Camarthenshire, died after being hit by a police vehicle.

Women from across the UK camped outside the Berkshire airbase during the 1980s and 1990s to protest at nuclear missiles being sited there.

During the height of the protests, thousands of women blocked the entrances to the site, cut through perimeter fences and formed human chains around it.

The airbase was closed in 1993 but the peace camp remained until 2000.

Mayor Hazel Evans said the town council wanted to honour Helen Thomas’s memory and her commitment to peace, so a bench near the town clock in the town centre was dedicated in her memory on November 6.

Members of Ms Thomas’s family and folk singer Dafydd Iwan joined the service along with prominent peace campaigners from Wales.

Before the ceremony, Mayor Evans said: “Last year it was the 21st anniversary of her death and there was a service at Greenham Common.

“We felt it was appropriate to remember her fight against nuclear weapons.”

Ms Thomas’s family challenged the verdict of accidental death at the High Court but the judge refused to re-open the inquest.

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