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Hull D-Day veteran celebrates centenary of military charity

Date
1 April 2015 12:10

A local veteran who has received vital support from Blind Veterans UK celebrated the centenary of the charity at a special reunion event this week (29/04).

Stanley Norton, 89, from Hull reunited with several other veterans helped by Blind Veterans UK to mark the military charity's 100 years of proud service to blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Stanley served in the Northamptonshire Regiment from 1943 to 1946. He was part of the Normandy landings on D-Day and fought on Sword Beach, one of the five beachheads selected by Allied forces as landing stages for the main invasion force.

He fought with the Second Battalion Essex Regiment until he was seriously wounded from an explosion. He later woke up in a hospital in Belgium after his brother, who was serving in the Pioneer Corps, rescued him. He joined fellow veterans at the special lunch in Leeds.

The explosion affected Stanley's vision with his sight continuing to deteriorate throughout his life. In 2003 he was registered blind and began receiving help and support from Blind Veterans UK.

Stanley says: "The most difficult thing about losing my sight was not feeling confident enough to leave my house."

Stanley now visits the Blind Veterans UK centres for themed weeks and holidays and is looking forward to a week in Brighton in August and in Sheffield for his birthday in September.

Stanley says: "The great thing about these reunions is that I get to speak with fellow veterans from my area who I wouldn't normally be able to spend time with."

Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstan's) was founded in 1915 and the charity's initial purpose was to help and support soldiers blinded in World War I. But the organisation has gone on to support more than 35,000 blind veterans and their families, spanning World War II to recent conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan.

For 100 years, the charity has been providing vital free training, rehabilitation, equipment and emotional support to blind and vision impaired veterans no matter when they served or how they lost their sight.

Blind Veterans UK is currently reaching out to more veterans like Stanley.  If you know someone who served in the Armed Forces, or those who did National Service, and is now battling severe sight problems, Blind Veterans UK may be able to provide them and their family with a lifetime's practical and emotional support for free.

Call freephone - 0800 389 7979 or go to www.noonealone.org.uk now.