Blind World War II veteran from Exeter to march on Remembrance Sunday with Blind Veterans UK
16 October 2014 11:25
A registered blind World War II veteran from Exeter, supported by Blind Veterans UK, is set to commemorate the sacrifice made by members of the Armed Forces when she takes part in the march to the Cenotaph in London for the first time this November.
Whimple resident Win Amos, 87, will march in the Remembrance Sunday commemorations with Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision impaired ex-Service men and women, which has supported her with her sight loss.
Win first served with the American Red Cross during the War. She worked in a catering team for American troops stationed in the Queen's Hotel in Birmingham and says "I was still stationed at the hotel in the run-up to D-Day. We didn't know what was being planned, but we knew something was up; lots of the men kept leaving in troop transports in the early hours of the morning."
In July 1945, a few months before the end of the war, Win joined the Army's Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS). She says "Being in the ATS meant that I had to make sure that the troops had what they needed to do their job - be that supplies or gunnery assistance."
Decades after her service, Win started to lose her sight to optic neuropathy. She says "I was living in Portugal at the time and my sight was just getting worse and worse. I contacted specialists in the UK and they suggested I come back home for treatment. As soon as I was seen, I was registered blind straight away."
Win has received free and comprehensive support from Blind Veterans UK since 2008 to help her live independently with sight loss. She says "My sight loss wasn't related to my time in the Army, so I didn't think Blind Veterans UK would be able to help me. I was very surprised to find that that didn't matter; the charity would support me anyway.
"Blind Veterans UK has been absolutely wonderful - they've given me all the support I need, nothing is too much for them. Thanks to them, I can use a computer, despite my age and sight loss.
"The most useful thing has been being taught how I can cook without my sight. I've been in kitchens all my life, but I kept burning myself because I couldn't see what I was doing. Now, with training from Blind Veterans UK, I can cook safely."
On Sunday 9 November, Win will march at the Cenotaph in London with other ex-Service men and women supported by Blind Veterans UK. She says "Remembrance Sunday means a lot to me, as my brother died during the War and my father served in the First World War and Second World War.
"Remembrance Sunday is a time for us to remember all those who've served, but particularly those who've died in service."
Our No One Alone campaign aims to reach out to more people like Win. More than 68,000 other veterans could be eligible for free help and support without realising it. If you know someone who served in the Armed Forces or National Service who now suffers with sight loss from any reason visit www.noonealone.org.uk or call 0800 389 7979.