History of Beekeeping Training
2013 saw the arrival of bees at our Llandudno centre. However, this is not the first time that Blind Veterans UK has been involved with bees.
As part of the Country Life area established at St Dunstan's at Regent's Park in 1915, veterans were encouraged to undertake training in poultry farming, market gardening as well as beekeeping.
A lack of references in archives to involvement in beekeeping suggests that this wasn't so popular with veterans, however there is a notable exception in Samuel Keith 'Jerry' Jerome.
Jerry served in the First Australian Imperial Force and was wounded at Gallipoli, losing his left eye and came to Regent's Park for training in 1916. Soon afterwards he married Marjorie, the voluntary nurse who had looked after him in hospital and it was with her assistance that Jerry set up his own apiary in the 1920s.His father had kept an apiary and Jerry drew upon his childhood experience of assisting him, growing his hives to 60 by 1930.
In 1933 Jerry and Marjorie wrote two sketches about bees which were broadcast on the BBC's Children's Hour programme, and their hives continued to grow and thrive.
After Marjorie's death in 1957, Jerry remarried and his second wife, Vivien, shared his passion for beekeeping. Vivien continued with her bees following Jerry's death in 1966 and she also remained actively involved with Blind Veterans UK. In 1992 her short story 'A Bee Line...', written under the nom-de-plume of Queen Bee, won first prize in our Short Story Competition.
Vivien passed away in 2013 at the age of 103.
The glass was originally placed in the chapel at our centre at West House, Brighton, and was later transferred to the new chapel where it remains today.
The only Victoria Cross awarded to a blind veteran.
A memorial tribute to our founder, Sir Arthur Pearson.
Over one hundred blind veterans from the First World War were trained to become telephone operators.
The memorial that signifies the strong friendship between United Kingdom and Holland.
Blind veteran, Ted Miller, from Leamington Spa, had his stunning doll houses featured on BBC Television.
The history of joinery and carpentry at St Dunstan's.
Dancing was a not only a form of excercise for the blind veterans but was also the most popular indoor recreation at St Dunstan's.
Blind veteran sets up his own business repairing boots and making clogs.
A celebratory concert in honour of St Dunstan's After Care work.
A plaque to mark the strong relationship between the town of Church Stretton and St Dunstan's.
A beautiful sculpture presented to the owners of St Dunstan's Lodge by Sir Arthur Pearson.
Blind veteran Maria Pikulski completes a wing walk.
A memorial commemorating Blind Veterans UK Chairman, Lord Ian Fraser.