Robert to join parade for Remembrance

Brought to you by the News Post Leader.
Brought to you by the News Post Leader.

A blind veteran will be among thousands remembering colleagues who lost their lives during wars.

Robert Dawson, from Cramlington, will be marching to the Cenotaph in London for this year’s Remembrance Sunday service.

The 78-year-old will be part of the contingent representing Blind Veterans UK, which this year celebrates 100 years’ supporting blind and vision-impaired ex-service men and women.

After joining the Army in 1958 for National Service, Robert served in the UK and Germany as a wireless operator and tank gunner.

Ten years ago, he was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), a leading cause of blindness in older people, after visiting Specsavers for a routine eye test.

He said: “I couldn’t read a paper or book and had to give up my car too, which was like losing my legs.

“Blind Veterans UK has been brilliant to me. I’d never touched a keyboard in my life and now I’m quite proficient at writing letters and emails.

“I get out and about more than I used to do and I’ve made some new friends.”

Robert has attended the national Remembrance Sunday commemorations on five previous occasions.

He is set to march with other vision-impaired ex-service men and women supported by Blind Veterans UK. He will be accompanied by a former comrade, Tom Upton, who will be his sighted guide.

Robert said: “When I’m marching, I think of my uncle who lived with me when I was a young boy.

“He was a prisoner of war for four years during the Second World War and, when he came back, I met him off the bus. When I march for Remembrance, I think of the past and all the people who died during the First and Second World Wars.”

For more information about Blind Veterans visit www.blindveterans.org.uk