Ellesmere Port blind veteran to ‘pay homage’ at the National Remembrance Sunday Commemorations.

9 November 2016 16:15

82 year old blind veteran Peter Olney from Great Sutton, has been attending Remembrance Sunday services for more than 70 years.

This year will be the first time he’s attending the national Remembrance Sunday service in London. Peter will be marching at the Cenotaph with more than 100 other representatives of Blind Veterans UK.

Peter joined the Royal Air Force in 1952 as part of National Service. He was trained as a clerk and became part of the administrative branch. He was stationed at RAF Bassingbourn and RAF Chessington.

Peter says: “I loved being in the RAF so much that I wanted to sign on. However, an accident to my knee landed me in Eley Hospital and meant I couldn’t continue serving in the RAF.”

He was medically discharged in 1953 and went on to work for Vauxhall as a technical clerk for 32 years.

Peter started to lose his sight around 10 years ago and was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) as well as glaucoma.

 He says: “Because it went quite gradually I feel that over time I adapted to my sight loss in a great many ways. However, I was grateful to be introduced to Blind Veterans UK by fellow blind veteran Geoff who works at Arrowe Park Hospital.”

Peter started to receive help and support from us in 2010 and went on an introduction week at our Llandudno training and rehabilitation centre.

Peter says: “The help I received at the charity’s centre and the ideas they provided to live independently with sight loss are fantastic.”

In addition to training, Peter was supplied with equipment including a liquid level indicator to make tea, a colour identifier and a scanner.

 Peter says: “I tend to keep myself busy and I do all the cooking at home. Now I’ve got stickers for the hob and the oven so I know which setting it is on. It’s the little things that make a big difference and help you adapt to your new circumstances.”

Peter is set to march on Sunday 13 November with other vision-impaired ex-Service men and women supported by us.

Blind veteran Peter Olney's relatives. 3 men in black and white.

Peter says: “Remembrance is incredibly important to me. All of my family have served in the Armed Forces, both my grandfather and father served in the Boer war and First World War respectively and my granddaughter’s husband is currently serving.”

Peter’s father served in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light infantry and was sent to Belgium to fight in the Battle of the Somme.  

This November coincides with the 100th anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Somme. Blind Veterans UK supported more than 250 blinded veterans who lost their sight at the Somme.

He adds: “It’s poignant that I’ll be at the national Remembrance Sunday service during the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of the Somme…I will be paying homage to all those who gave their life, those who were gassed or blinded as well as all those who managed to get back safely. Without them we wouldn’t be here today.”