Blind Ellesmere Port veteran's pride at Cenotaph march

Reporter:

David Triggs

A blind veteran has spoken of his pride at marching at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday with the charity Blind Veterans UK.

Peter Olney, 83, from Ellesmere Port, was supported by local Specsavers stores, which raised money to help send veterans to march.

Peter joined more than 100 other blind veterans supported by Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-service men and women.

He said: “It was a very moving experience to march alongside fellow blind veterans, some of whom had fought in the Second World War.

“The atmosphere during the two minutes' silence was like nothing I have ever experienced. All of us were bound together as we thought of those who were no longer with us.”

Peter joined the RAF as part of his National Service in 1952. He completed training in Padgate, then moved to Walmslow and Bomber Command at Bassingbourne. He left the RAF as an Aircraftsman.

He added: “I loved my time in the RAF, the camaraderie was brilliant.

“I didn’t do anything spectacular or important but I was serving my country and life in the military set me up well. I am still meticulously tidy and like everything in its place, which has helped now that I’ve lost my sight.”

Peter started to lose his sight more than 10 years ago. He had already developed glaucoma but went on to have age-related macular degeneration as well.

He started to receive support from Blind Veterans UK in 2010 after being referred to the charity by his local hospital.

The charity estimates that there are nearly 700 blind veterans in Cheshire who would be eligible to access its specialist support, most of whom are not aware of it.

If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces or did National Service and are now battling severe sight loss, find out how Blind Veterans UK could help by calling 0800 389 7979 or visiting blindveterans.org.uk.

Email:

david.triggs@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Chester Leader

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