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Military history group releases book to fundraise for blind veterans

A military history group has penned a book of war stories, with the royalty proceeds going to military charity Blind Veterans UK.

Entitled ‘Glimpses of War’, the book is made up of the war experiences of members and associates of the British Modern Military History Society (BMMHS).

It includes accounts from the Boer War, First World War, Second World War and more recent conflicts in the Falklands and Afghanistan.

Blind veteran Terry Bullingham is one of those to recount his experiences in the book. He vividly describes his time in the Falklands, as well as the day he lost his sight and how Blind Veterans UK got him back on his feet.

He says:

“I was inspired by the blind First and Second World War veterans I met at Blind Veterans UK.  I thought, if you can crack it, I’m certainly going to! They had overcome such challenges in their lives, and yet not one of them felt any self-pity. The camaraderie together with the encouragement and support from Blind Veterans UK kept me positive and I found I was able to achieve more each day.”

Another blind veteran featured in the book is 98 year-old Jim Wright. Jim trained as a navigator for the RAF and flew in 42 daring raids during the Second World War. The book describes those treacherous night flights and his incredible experience during the war before moving onto his dedicated fight to get proper recognition for Bomber Command.

Jim lost his sight later in life due to age-related macular degeneration and has been supported by Blind Veterans UK since 2014. They arranged for a volunteer to visit Jim once a week in his home before the pandemic hit.

Jim says:

“The charity organised a wonderful person to help me write my memoirs. It’s something I simply couldn’t have done without his help, and I feel very grateful that he was so dedicated to the task!”

Andy Cockeram, Chairman of BMMHS says:

“We are delighted to support Blind Veterans UK, a well-respected and nationwide charity which does amazing work for its beneficiaries. It is hard for any of us to imagine how difficult life must be without sight, and with the support of the charity, blind veterans are given every assistance to lead a full and active life.”

The book is available to purchase in paperback on Amazon.

The BMMHS is already planning future volumes of the book and is accepting materials for those editions. Please send your or your loved ones’ stories to info@bmmhs.org, keeping under 2,000 words.

Blind Veterans UK has adapted its service to support its 5,000 beneficiaries, 90% of whom are over 70 and at an increased risk from Covid-19. The National Support Service has and will continue to help blind veterans through this period of social isolation.

Nicky Shaw, Blind Veterans UK Director of Operations said:

“Living in isolation, blind veterans need our help right now with daily tasks, such as the shopping, and constant emotional support through this difficult time. So we are temporarily changing our service and mobilising our staff to provide practical, essential support to help the most vulnerable.

“There is so much that we can and must do to support blind veterans to help them maintain physical and emotional wellbeing, and to feel safe, reassured and cared for during this crisis.”

You can keep updated on Blind Veterans UK’s response to Covid-19 at blindveterans.org.uk/coronavirus where you can also find out more about supporting the charity to make this new service possible.

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