100th birthday cards appeal for blind D-Day veteran to brighten up his birthday in isolation
We are backing an appeal for people to send birthday cards to a blind D-Day veteran celebrating his 100th birthday in isolation, two days after the 76th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
The appeal was launched by Ron Cross MBE’s granddaughter, Amy Cross.
The 76th anniversary of the landings in Normandy falls on June 6th, with Legion d’Honneur recipient Ron’s 100th birthday falling two days later on June 8th. Birthday cards should be sent to Caroline Dinenage MP’s office at 167 Stoke Road, Gosport, PO12 1SE.
Ron served in the 79th Armoured Division, a specialist unit created specifically to form the first line of attack as part of the Allied invasion force. As part of the Armoured Vehicles Royal Engineers, Ron and his fellow engineers were responsible for landing tanks and clearing minefields set by the Germans before reinforcements arrived.
He was discharged as a Corporal in 1946, after which he returned to Gosport to work at Haslar Hospital as an Occupational Therapist for 37 years. He developed and built up the Occupational Therapy Department over a long career and received an MBE for his work at the hospital.
Ron’s vision started to deteriorate in 2009 and he was later diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). He began receiving support from us in 2012.
“We can’t have the 100th birthday party that we’d imagined for my wonderful grandad so I wanted to do something to make him feel less lonely as he celebrates in isolation.”Ron's granddaughter Amy
"Once my sight started to get worse I thought that I should stop driving and went to my optometrist who said that I would have to stop. My sight has got worse steadily since then. Blind Veterans UK are marvellous. Three years ago I couldn’t write a letter anymore because my sight had got so bad. But I went on a Blind Veterans UK IT course and they have given me all the training and equipment I need to carry on. I have a special screen that magnifies what I write and software that reads it back to me. I can now send emails which is so important for keeping in touch with people like my grandchildren.”Ron
Amy says: “Blind Veterans UK gave my grandad a computer which speaks to him so he can use it despite not being able to see much. I love telling people that my 99 year old grandad sends me emails, I’m so proud of him!”