Approaching Remembrance Sunday is poignant for all of us.
While we remember those who have fallen, we commemorate the bravery of the thousands of blind veterans who we support today. We have launched the Stronger Together appeal to continue providing lifelong support to the veterans in our care. But there are also 50,000 out there that still need your help.
Together, we can give blind veterans the strength they need to rebuild their lives.
A tribute to Ron
Among our fallen comrades is Ron, who sadly died in 2020 at the age of 104. This year we are honouring Ron's life by sharing his inspirational story, celebrating his strength to rebuild his life after losing sight.
Ron was just a boy of 16 when he enlisted in the Exeter Royal Regiment of Artillery in 1931. After serving for six years in Hong Kong, the Japanese army attacked and his garrison was forced to surrender. Four years of sheer hell followed.
Each man was given a single scoop of rice per day – and that was crawling with insects and black with mouse droppings. Disease was rife and all around him, his comrades were dying.
Ron’s life was saved by a civilian doctor – but he had still spent the remainder of the war in darkness and near silence, deprived of his sight and most of his hearing. Ron was at rock bottom when he returned to the UK.
Things started to change for Ron, when he was introduced to our wonderful charity in 1946. We gradually got him back on his feet.
Ron later attended the Remembrance Sunday parade in 2019 as the oldest veteran taking part that year. He was a husband and father of two children, spent 25 years managing his own post office and received nearly 70 years of support from us.
"I returned to the UK after being a POW for nearly four years. Having lost my sight as well as my hearing my future seemed very dismal and I didn't want to think about what lay ahead. This was until I was taken to Blind Veterans UK. Thanks to the charity's wholehearted support, I was given my confidence back bit by bit."Ron, blind veteran