Obituary: Antony Terry

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The Independent Online
NO ACCOUNT of Antony Terry's life would be complete without reference to his work on the thalidomide scandal, writes Phillip Knightley (further to the obituary by Cal McCrystal, 3 October). The morning-sickness drug that poisoned some 8,000 babies around the world was invented in Germany and Terry, then the Sunday Times correspondent in Bonn, played a major role in exposing the drug company and in getting adequate compensation for the children.

In 1968 he brought to Britain in three suitcases the documents which the German prosecutor's office had used to launch a criminal action against the directors of the drug company and in getting adequate compensation for the children.

Throughout it, Terry handled the German end, meeting informants clandestinely in laybys on German motorways, dragging politicians from their beds for a last-minute quote, always calm, always courteous, always available.

In between he would pop off for a war or two where he would insist that the best way to avoid being shot was to make it clear to both sides that you were a civilian. So not for Terry the desert battle- dress or the safari suit. He covered Biafra wearing a black jacket, a bowler hat and a fresh rose in his lapel, the image of a perfect English gentleman - which, of course, he was.

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