Eddie joined the Royal Navy in 1943 and was on Omaha Beach on D-Day.
He was a petrol stoker on landing craft and, along with four other crew members on his Landing Barge Vehicle, he set off from Poole on June 4 in preparation for the Allied invasion of France. The Landing Barge Vehicle was initially transporting 35 tonnes of TNT and a bulldozer.
They continued to work on Omaha Beach, transporting ammunition, equipment and men, for several months and he served in Normandy until Christmas Eve 1944.
“I was off Omaha Beach on D-Day and 3,000 men died there before noon alone.”Eddie
Eddie was discharged in April 1947 as a 1st Class Stoker and began working in a Mill in Battersea initially before helping his parents build their dream bungalow. Afterwards he became a self-employed brick layer.
He started receiving support from Blind Veterans UK in 2016 after losing his sight much later in life due to age-related macular degeneration.
Eddie was told about Blind Veterans UK after attending an exhibition at Poole library and has since received support, training and equipment to allow him to continue to live as independently as possible.
“I'm not really a religious man but I thank the Lord for Blind Veterans UK.”Eddie
Eddie is also supported in his local community by his Community Support Worker Lorraine and the rest of his local team. Lorraine visits Eddie regularly to make sure he has everything he needs to continue to live as independently as possible.
In 2018, he was recognised for his outstanding work as an ambassador for Blind Veterans UK by being presented with a Founder's Day Award, the charity's highest honours.
He was nominated for the award by Lorraine for his “unlimited enthusiasm and willingness to help Blind Veterans UK encourage others to receive support from the charity.”
“They have given me a special reader that magnifies documents to a huge size. It has allowed me to still look after my own correspondence and even get back into building models. I’ve also recently started learning how to use a tablet computer. I get quite emotional remembering the moment when I was being shown all this marvellous equipment and then being told that I was taking it home with me."
“The last time I visited I asked if I could have a Blind Veterans UK flag so I could literally ‘fly the flag’ for the organisation outside my house!"Eddie