Fred served in the Durham Light Infantry and lost his sight during the D-Day landings. He joined St Dunstan’s, now Blind Veterans UK, in 1944. Fred initially came to our wartime hospital unit at Stoke Mandeville, and met with our then Chairman Lord Fraser. He then went on to our main training and rehabilitation centre, which at the time was in Church Stretton, Shropshire. Fred trained there in industrial work. He went on to a career in engineering. Fred died in 2006.
In this wide-ranging interview from 2003 Fred talks candidly about his wartime experiences, his time with the charity, his career and caring for his late wife during her illness.
"In the army, in the infantry, you have one buddy and you just get on with that buddy, it’s a friendship you can’t describe to people who’ve never been in the forces…if he goes out and he’s only got the price of a pint he’ll go out and he’ll have two halves, he gives you one, he has one…"Fred Bentley, blind veteran