'Wreath Of Respect' ridden by motorbike cavalcade to Llandudno to mark passing of blind veteran

3 October 2014 10:05

A group of more than 35 motorbike riders visited the Blind Veterans UK Llandudno Centre to present donations and display a commemorative copper ‘Wreath Of Respect’ to honour a blind veteran who recently passed away.

Ted Callaghan died in August this year at the age of 82. Ted was called up for National Service in 1955, and joined the Royal Engineers. He served in Cyprus and was discharged in 1957 as a Sapper.

Ted lost his sight later in life due to age-related macular degeneration, unrelated to his time in service, and received comprehensive free support from national charity Blind Veterans UK.

At Ted's funeral last month, donations to Blind Veterans UK were encouraged instead of flowers. Recently his grandson, son-in-law, and grandson-in-law all rode motorbikes with the Royal British Legion Riders Branch to the Blind Veterans UK Llandudno Centre, to present the donations and also a special metal wreath.

The hand-crafted copper Wreath of Respect was specially-commissioned to commemorate those who died in World War I, and it toured the country for Remembrance services as well as being ridden to Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. The wreath is a 3D design which has been designed with blind people in mind, and veterans at the Blind Veterans UK Llandudno Centre were invited to hold and touch it.

Ted's grandson-in-law, Steve Watton, says "Ted was a really great man, and the donations just keep coming and coming. Ted visited the Blind Veterans UK Llandudno Centre several times, and he received some wonderful support from the charity.

"It started out just being three of us riding down in his honour to bring the donations and the Wreath of Respect, but loads of other people wanted to pay their respects as well and we got quite a big cavalcade.

"We were expecting around 20 motorbikes, but there turned out to be 36 bikes and trikes. We were given an insight as to what goes on at the Blind Veterans UK centre and I can honestly say that we came away feeling humbled."

Ted's wife, daughter and other grandchildren also attended the event. To find out more about the support we provide for blind veterans, visit the how we help section of the website.