Oxfordshire veteran to represent Blind Veterans UK at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday
16 October 2014 12:55
A blind veteran from Kidlington will be joining more than 100 other representatives of the charity Blind Veterans UK on Remembrance Sunday.
Peter Phipps, 85, will be marching to the Cenotaph in London on Sunday 9 November with Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision impaired ex-Service men and women.
Peter began his military career with a brief stint in the Royal Navy. Like many of his generation, Peter volunteered despite being underage. When his commanding officer found that he was 16, Peter was discharged from the Navy.
He then joined the Royal Air Force and while waiting to start a course for instrument mechanics, he volunteered as a parachute jump instructor during the Second World War. Following an accident after a parachute jump in Holland he returned to the RAF and took up his new trade as an instrument mechanic. He was eventually discharged in 1949.
After life in the Armed Forces, Peter decided to complete an apprenticeship and went on to fulfil various jobs, finally becoming the director of several companies.
Peter's eyesight began to fail later in life, but he learned that he was eligible for free and comprehensive support from Blind Veterans UK, and started receiving the charity's help in 2012.
Since then he has volunteered for Blind Veterans UK as a speaker, and represented the charity as part of the Remembrance Sunday service at Whitehall. Peter says "I thoroughly enjoyed the day and it made me very proud. It's really an emotional rollercoaster. The crowds are cheering you on and it feels great, but then you realise that it's not about you. You're doing it for those that couldn't come home."
Peter will return to the Cenotaph for this year's Remembrance Sunday, alongside other vision impaired ex-Service men and women supported by Blind Veterans UK.
Peter hopes that the occasion will be an opportunity to raise awareness of the charity. He says "I still meet people - even older people - who don't know about Blind Veterans UK. I think it's a real shame, and it's important for us to make people aware of the fantastic work that they do, and the difference they can make to ex-Service personnel who have lost their sight."
Our No One Alone campaign aims to reach out to more people like Peter. 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.