Sir Arthur Pearson, who owned the Evening Standard, founded the Daily Express and was a Council member of the National Institute for the Blind (now the RNIB), established Blind Veterans UK in 1915. Having lost his own sight through glaucoma, he was shocked at society’s attitude to blindness. He decided to help those who had lost their vision in the First World War by giving them the care and rehabilitation they needed to lead constructive, self-sufficient lives. The charity initially operated as The Blinded Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Care Committee, soon became generally known as St Dunstan’s and formally adopted that name in 1923 and officially became Blind Veterans UK in 2012.
More information about the charity’s history can be found on their website: http://www.blindveterans.org.uk/about-us/history/time-line/. Blind Veterans UK not only cares for ex-Service men and women blinded in action, but for veterans who have lost their sight through accident, illness or old age.
Click here to see a pdf () list of the Surrey First World War service personnel helped by Blind Veterans UK, supplied by the charity from their archive. Anyone who has a story about any of these people can add it to the website by clicking on Add Your Story (at the top right of the screen) or via the contact us form.