Blind ex-Service woman from Dorset honoured to be representing Blind Veterans UK as part of Remembrance Sunday
24 October 2014 12:55
This Remembrance Sunday, a former Women’s Royal Naval Service Third Officer from Poole says she is “honoured” to be representing national charity Blind Veterans UK.
Jean Davies, 76, joined the Wrens in 1956 where she trained to be an Air Radio Mechanic, going on to serve at HMS Sanderling and HMS Ariel. Jean later went on to do a training course to become a Photographic Interpreter and went to RAF Brampton, where she met her husband. He was an accomplished pilot, and received the Air Force Cross and the Distinguished Flying Cross whilst in the RAF.
Jean says: "I left the Wrens in 1962 and after marrying my husband we moved around a lot for his job, which I got quite used to. After he retired from the RAF we ran a floating hotel for a while which got us around a lot."
Jean was also an avid badminton player and played regularly with a group of friends. However, she began to notice there was something wrong with her vision when she couldn't hit the shuttle cock at the net like she used to. She had an eye test and three months later she was diagnosed with Age Related Macular Degeneration in her left eye. A couple of years later her right eye also deteriorated.
Jean only recently discovered she was eligible for free and comprehensive support from Blind Veterans UK, when she found out about the charity in 2013.
Jean says: "I attended an introduction week at the Blind Veterans UK Brighton centre where a blind veteran spoke to us. His story was very inspiring; how he is living life to its full potential even though he is completely blind. I didn't realise how much Blind Veterans UK could help me. They supplied me with very helpful gadgets including a talking watch, magnifying devices, large print diary and address book."
This year, Jean will be marching to the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday alongside other blind veterans representing Blind Veterans UK.
Jean says: "It's an honour to represent such a great charity on Remembrance Sunday which is very special for me. I will be thinking about fallen relatives, as my grandfather John Dunscombe served in the Navy during the First World War and I recently found out I had two uncles who served and died during World War I."
Our No One Alone campaign estimates that there are over 68,000 vision impaired veterans, just like Jean, who could be eligible for free, lifelong support but are not currently aware of it. If you know an ex-Service man or woman who is now battling severe sight loss visit www.noonealone.org.uk or call freephone 0800 389 7979.