Blind veteran Lorna Cockayne

Lorna's story

Lorna served at Bletchley Park, where she was involved in the codebreaking of German messages.

Lorna, from Christchurch, joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service in July 1944. She was one of the 600 Wrens who served at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.

Although Lorna always had glasses for reading and driving, it was only a few years ago that she noticed her sight was deteriorating. After dropping her glasses in her driveway and driving over them, she needed some new ones and visited her optician.

Lorna’s eyesight was getting worse because of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of sight loss in older people. Fortunately, Lorna was referred to Blind Veterans UK and started to receive our free support in 2016. She visited Blind Veterans UK’s training and rehabilitation centre in Brighton for an induction week, introducing her to all of the services and support available through the charity.

"Blind Veterans UK has given me my independence again. They’ve given me so much help and equipment. It’s brilliant."

This year marks 100 years of the Women’s Royal Naval Service. To celebrate, Lorna visited Brighton for a week-long event called Women’s Military Week, with other female veterans supported by our charity.

Blind veteran Lorna Cockayne

During the week Lorna was treated to a special formal lunch with Royal Navy women, including Royal Navy Commander Ally Pollard, where they had the opportunity to chat about their time in the Armed Forces and reflect on 100 years of women serving.

As well as the lunch, Lorna enjoyed a range of activities during the week, including arts and crafts, where she and her fellow blind veterans were joined by star of Community Channel’s Crafty Beggars, Nigel May.

Hear more from Lorna on her Service and the support she receives from our charity: