Brighton blind World War Two veteran says thanks for vital support at Christmas

13 November 2013 13:00

Charles Hanaway, a blind World War Two veteran from Brighton tells his story and thanks us for support with his battle against sight loss.

Charles Hanaway, 90, a blind World War Two veteran from Brighton has thanked us for support with his battle against sight loss. Charles joined a decade ago, after losing his sight gradually from bilateral disciform macular degeneration.

After leaving school aged 13, Charles was first employed in an engineering works in Fulham, London before working as a bike boy for Sainsbury's in Chelsea. As soon as the outbreak of the Second World War was declared in 1939 Charles, then aged 15, volunteered to join the army.

After his training Charles was posted to the Middlesex Regiment and later the London Irish Rifles, the Royal Ulster Rifles and finally the Royal Scots Fusiliers where he was trained for the second front. After landing at Arromanche Beach in June 1944, Charles fought through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany and ending up losing part of his left foot when he was caught in a mine blast as he crossed the River Rhine.

Charles says: "I have got so much out of being a member of Blind Veterans UK. I have greatly enjoyed the camaraderie and comradeship I've have with other members. The good thing is that it feels as though everyone is in the same position.

"I am really looking forward to spending this Christmas at the charity's Brighton centre. It will be the first time I have stayed at one of the centres and I gather it is a lot of fun and a relaxing place to be at that time of year. I cannot imagine what Christmas would have been like if I hadn't been able to go there. As my wife has recently passed away I am on my own now so it would have been lousy to say the least". 

We have recently launched our No One Alone campaign which aims to reach out to the estimated 68,000 plus ex-Service personnel who could be benefiting from the charity's services but they either do not know about the charity or they do not know that they are eligible for its services.

To find out more about Blind Veterans UK's No One Alone campaign go to go to: or telephone:  0800 389 7979.