Little Ruby Drawing
The story behind the iconic drawing of Little Ruby.
St Dunstan's first Annual Report for 1915-1916 had on its front cover a drawing of a blinded soldier being led hand in hand by a small girl. The image became an iconic symbol for the charity and was used on emblems and days of commemoration.
What made this an even more powerful image was that the little girl actually existed and had a habit of leading the blinded veterans around the grounds of Regent's Park, the charity's first home.
Her name was Ruby (she became known as Little Ruby) and she was the daughter of William Smith, the Head Gardener of the estate. He was employed by Otto Khan to look after the grounds of the estate he generously loaned to St Dunstan's, now Blind Veterans UK.
From the age of three until she was nine, Ruby grew up as the only child among a community of young blinded veterans and sighted helpers.
Young as she was, Ruby understood the young men around her were blind and would run around the grounds befriending the nurses and blind veterans.
Ruby died on Christmas Day 2011 and to celebrate her early years of enriching the lives of blind veterans and the historic image she inspired, the Review magazine used the Little Ruby image on its March 2012 front page.
The original drawing was done by Louis Raemaekers, a Dutch cartoonist, known for his propaganda cartoons. It was later adapted into a more refined version of the drawing.
A novel written by blind veteran,John Healy.
Many blind veterans turned the trade of basket making into an occupation.
Blind veterans designed and produced intricate rugs.
Lathe and metal work training gave the blind veterans a chance to earn a good wage.
The beginning of St Dunstan's Amateur Radio Society
A short film showing life at St Dunstan's.
A special gift item to celebrate 100 years of Blind Veterans UK.
To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Great War, 'My War Diary' details what life was like during the First World War.
The first edition of the Review, Blind Veterans UK's monthly magazine.
A painting of one of St Dunstan's most treasured matrons.
A sculpture to commemorate 100 years of Blind Veterans UK.
A candy recipe book from New Zealand donated to St Dunstan's.
A badge made from wood which was recovered from a bombed building.
A special Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey to celebrate 100 years of Blind Veterans UK.
Cuddly toy dogs created by a blind veteran with the help of his family.
Golf has always been popular with blind veterans, and some have achieved national success.
An unfamiliar object in the archives of Blind Veterans UK.
Blind veterans at our Brighton centre created some artistic Christmas cards in 2003.
Many blind veterans enjoyed the various ski trips organised by the charity.
This book explores the history of the charity's founder, Sir Arthur Pearson, and the impact his ideas have had on veterans with sight loss over the last 100 years.