Founders Day Awards Trophy
Every year, Blind Veterans UK holds a ceremony called the 'Founders Day Awards' where veterans with severe sight loss who've made an outstanding achievement during the year are awarded recognition for their efforts. The date of the awards is particularly significant as on the 26 March 1915, 16 blinded soldiers entered the training centre in Regents Park, London, so they are held on that day every year.
One particular trophy given as a part of the Founders Day Awards, we are featuring this week as part of our 100 objects.
This trophy is the Ted Higgs award. It is special because it was given to Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstan's) in memory of the late Ted Higgs, a blind veteran who lost all of his sight in 1944, whilst serving with the Royal Artillery in World War Two. It was kindly donated by members of his family and the award is given to a War Blind veteran in recognition of lifetime achievement.
Valerie Shannon-Higgs and Pauline Edwards have both said how proud they are that the memory of their late father is continued through the Ted Higgs Trophy. Last year the award was given to veteran Terry Bullingham, the first veteran to join Blind Veterans UK as a result of being blinded in the Falklands conflict.
Terry was proposed by his Welfare Officer, Rachel Jennings, who wrote:
"Terry can only be described as one of this country's finest model engineers. He has not only made a working replica of a steam engine from Meccano, but over the past few years, in order to challenge his skills and capabilities designed, engineered and made a working crane, the full size of which was used regularly in dock yards. The crane has over 3,000 pieces, the majority of which have been tooled by Terry in his workshop at home, on his own lathe (other than some of the nuts and bolts). It is a creation of passion, determination and ingenuity. Terry is presently taking the working model to meetings where like minded model makers and engineers meet, hence the large plastic wheels on it. When you consider that Terry has no sight it truly is a terrific achievement."
This year's trophy will be announced soon!
If you missed any of our 100 objects releases click here to see them all.
The Blind Veterans UK branded taxi has been with us for over 17 years and taken veterans, staff and supporters on many important journeys during its time.
The St Dunstan's Clock is a very special addition to the Story of Blind Veterans UK in 100 Objects, as the clock was the centrepiece of St Dunstan's Lodge - the site of our early training and rehabilitation centre, and source of our previous name, St Dunstan's.