Harry O'Hara Tray
A tray made by blind veterans during WWII and embellished by Japanese Fighter Pilot Harry O'Hara
This tray is an item made by blind veterans during WWII and it has been embellished by a Japanese Fighter Pilot who worked with us during the 1930s and 1940s.
Harry was in India working as a correpsondent for a Japanese newspaper when WWI broke out. He joined the Gurkas before being transferred to the Middlesex regiment. He served in the Royal Flying Corps, becoming a pilot. A serious injury ended his flying career and he then found work decorating products made by vision impaired ex-Service men and women.
Working as a laquer artist, Harry decorated items made by blind veterans of WWI, many of whom had been trained in carpentry at our centre in Regents' Park. The items were sold at our shop in Kentish Town or through catalogues.
In the image above, Harry is painting items at an exhibition of the works of war-wounded veterans in Kensington. The tray he is seen to be decorating was later bought by the late Queen Mother.
For 100 years we have been supported by dedicated volunteers.
Reunions have always been an important part of the support we offer to blind veterans
100k walk medals from 1923 to 2015
Our oldest veteran to have ever lived had a bus named in his honour in Brighton and Hove
Our famous London to Brighton 100k walk has been a Blind Veterans UK tradition since 1923.
Braille printers are revolutionary pieces of technology that allow texts to be translated into Braille.
Screen reading software both magnifies and read texts to allow blind veterans to read on their computer, use the internet, send emails and magnify documents and letters.
Ann Quin was a Sussex novelist who worked for Blind Veterans UK as a short-hand typist
Being able to tell the time without sight is an important step towards independence for the blind.
"If people want to hear music - music with a large capital "M" - let them come to St Dunstan's some day.." The Review, 1917
A signed address by Helen Keller from the World Conference on Work for the Blind. This address was given to Ian Fraser, our chairman at the time who was in attendance at the conference.
Fundraising has always been vital to the work of Blind Veterans UK.
During WWI, we sold postcards to raise money to continue our services for blind veterans.
Our centre in Brighton is more than 75 years old and was the first purpose-built rehabilitation centre for the blind.
The Old Bill Fraternity was a subscription scheme for products made by blind veterans.
The winged victory is a sculpture above the chapel at our centre in Brighton.
Sink the Bismarck is a 1960s black & white war film about the chase and sinking of the German battle ship the Bismarck.