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About Fred

Fred served in the Durham Light Infantry and lost his sight during the D-Day landings. He joined St Dunstan’s, now Blind Veterans UK, in 1944. Fred initially came to our wartime hospital unit at Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire, where he met our then Chairman Lord Fraser.

Fred then moved on to our main training and rehabilitation centre, which at the time was in Church Stretton, Shropshire. He trained there in industrial work, and went on to a career in engineering. Fred died in 2006.

In this wide-ranging interview from 2003, he talks candidly about his wartime experiences, his time with the charity, his career and caring for his late wife during her illness.

A black and white photograph of a young blind veteran Fred during his days of military service
Blind veteran Fred in service
Blind veteran Fred standing on a boat next to a man who has caught a fish, giving a thumbs up
Blind veteran Fred on a fishing boat
"In the army, in the infantry, you have one buddy and you just get on with that buddy. It’s a friendship you can’t describe to people who’ve never been in the forces. If he goes out and he’s only got the price of a pint, he’ll have two halves – he gives you one, he has one."
Fred Bentley
Blind veteran