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Henry was invited to the Llandudno cenotaph during his induction week with Blind Veterans UK to give him the opportunity to honour his fellow soldiers.

Henry, who is a member of Blind Veterans UK, was unable to attend our 75th anniversary commemorations in Llandudno last month and spent the day following all the coverage on the television wishing that he was able to pay his respects.

Henry, who is 93 and resides in Derby but is originally from Poland, says: “The anniversary of D-Day brings back lots of memories every year. When I was discharged from the military I felt lost and forgotten. I will always remember though.

“I feel so thankful to Blind Veterans UK for organising the visit to the cenotaph for me. I have been to commemorations in Derby before but I’ve only been there from a distance. It’s more difficult for me to get around now so it meant a lot to me to be taken to pay my respects”.

In January 1943, Henry joined the Eighth Infantry, 2nd Tank Regiment and undertook his training in the UK. He served in Italy and most notably in the Battle of Monte Cassino during the Occupation of Italy. At the end of the war in 1945, he was unable to return home to Poland due to the Soviet Union rule. He says: “We couldn’t go home. Our parents told us to not come back because it wasn’t safe so I went to England where I married and had a family”.

He started receiving support from Blind Veterans UK in March this year as he now has macular generation in both eyes.

Kathy Boardman, Centre Manager at the charity’s Llandudno centre says: “It was a great privilege for the team in Llandudno to be able to do this for Henry and to see the impact the Introduction week had on him whilst he was with us”.

“I feel so thankful to Blind Veterans UK for organising the visit to the cenotaph for me. [...] It’s more difficult for me to get around now so it meant a lot to me to be taken to pay my respects”.
Henry Szmydt
“It was a great privilege for the team in Llandudno to be able to do this for Henry and to see the impact the Introduction week had on him whilst he was with us”.
Kathy Boardman, Centre Manager at Blind Veterans UK Llandudno centre


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