Name: William Turner
Date of Birth: 28 July 1950
Regiment: SAS (21 & 22)
Joined Blind Veterans UK: 9 January 2014
When Bill left school at 15 he joined the Royal Navy and served as a radar operator, a diver and in SAR until 22nd May 1974. He then served in the SAS 1976 - 1983. His service saw him serve his country in a number of combat zones including Northern Ireland, Falklands, Kosovo and in the Cod War with Iceland which took place in the Arctic Sea. Bill went on to join the Fire Service, and then became a police officer for West Mercia until his retirement in 2001. During this time he undertook a UN secondment to Kosovo and Bosnia. After retiring he sailed around the world!
Evidently an active and energetic man – when Bill developed glaucoma he found it hard to adjust. After a friend told him about Blind Veterans UK, he got in touch to request support. As well as helping him to adjust to life with sight loss through equipment and training, Bill has also been able to discover a new love – painting. Despite having not painted since school, he was encouraged him to pick up a paintbrush, and he hasn’t looked back since.
“The art bug has definitely bitten, I have carried my easel up the Malvern Hills just to sit there and paint and I often find myself getting carried away and painting on A4 paper into the early hours of the morning. Seeking Blind Veterans UK’s support has been the best thing that could have happened to me. The Llandudno centre staff are very positive and friendly and their can-do attitude is infectious.”
Bill’s work has featured in exhibitions in many locations including Westminster Abbey with the Army Arts Council and in the British Embassy in Kosovo. Bill uses a great deal of patience to make the most of his remaining vision and works with a range of small portable magnifying equipment to assist him while painting, with outstanding results as you can see from his work.