Surrey blind veteran to join Remembrance Day March for Blind Veterans UK

12 November 2013 12:55

93 year old WW2 veteran Leonard Prime to march on behalf of Blind Veterans UK at Rememberance Day 2013.

Leonard Prime, a 93-year-old World War Two blind veteran from Reigate Hill, Surrey, will join thousands of other veterans at this year's Remembrance Day march to the Cenotaph in central London.

Born in Long Eaton in 1920, Leonard began training as a Chartered Surveyor which had to be cut short when he was called up to serve with the Royal Engineers in August 1942.

After training in the UK, Leonard was commissioned in October 1943 and landed at Normandy on D+1, fighting through to Belgium before being posted to India. His stay in the Far East was shortened by the atomic bombs and he returned for discharge as a Captain in March 1946. He completed his chartered surveyors training and worked for various companies until retirement.

Leonard says: "I didn't get called up until 1942 when I was 22 years old. I had been expecting to since 1940 so it didn't come as much of a surprise and I think when it happened, I took it well in my stride.

"I learnt a great deal during my time in service and I have to say it was a great experience.

"Taking part in the Remembrance Day march is an event I would not miss for the world. Of those I will be remembering will be my dearest friend who I was at school with and later died whilst in service with the RAF. I am always struck by how wonderful the atmosphere on the day is, and the enormous number of people who come out to watch".

He says: "My wife suggested that I joined Blind Veterans UK six years ago and it has been a wonderful experience no doubt. There is always great camaraderie between members at the charity's centres, including the Brighton based one which I have now visited three times. I also really enjoy listening to the Review [our  internal publication for members] and I really don't know where I would be without the equipment it has given me to aid me with my sight loss".

In October 2012 we launched our No One Alone campaign which aims to reach out to the estimated 68,000 plus blind veterans who are eligible for the charity's services but are not currently aware of this. If you know someone who served in the Armed Forces - did National Service perhaps, and are now battling severe sight problems - we may well be able to provide them and their family with a lifetime's practical and emotional support for free.
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