No matter where blind veterans are, they always remain part of our charity
10 January 2017 15:00
On July 14 1937 and July 20 1938, the annual Regatta of our charity (then called St Dunstan’s) was held in Putney.
The charity’s Chairman Sir Ian Fraser, Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Carpendale and Colonel Eric Ball were some of the distinguished visitors at the race.
The Regatta Dinner then took place at the Connaught Rooms. However, their notable attendance and the fine dining were not the only reasons which made the 1937 and 1938 Putney Regattas ‘distinguished’ amongst other years. Many veterans, who were blinded during the First World War, came back to participate in the race. Including those all the way from the commonwealth of … Australia!
This however was not the last sighting of the Australian! Alec made return visits and in 1937 and 1938 participated again in the Putney Regatta. From his time away, his exceptional rowing skills stayed with him, coming in third place for the ‘Single Sculls Veterans’ (1937). Although, the next year he improved and came in first place for the exact same race. Likewise, he came first in the ‘Pair Oars’ race (1938) with fellow former St Dunstaner, Henry John Glendennan - at the age of 55!
Our charity has helped blinded veteran achieve a life beyond sight loss sicne 1915, and in 2017 we are hoping to support more veterans than ever before. It is estimated that there are 59,000 blind veterans eligible to access our free specialist support across the country, most of whom are currently not aware of it. If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces or did National Service and are now battling severe sight loss, find out how Blind Veterans UK could help by calling 0800 389 7979 or visiting noonealone.org.uk