Royal Albert Hall Reunion Programme
Reunions have always been an important part of the support we offer to blind veterans
Since our foundation in 1915, we have had a busy programme of reunion events for blind veterans. In this our centenary year we will be holding over 35 regional reunion lunches and of course our largest reunion of all, a garden party hosted by Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace.
In our early days, reunions were very important in creating a community of veterans who were blinded in WWI. It's startling to see how well attended these events were. For instance, the Belfast reunion of 1935 saw every blind veteran of Northern Ireland in attendance. As well as regional gatherings, reunions according to occupation were also popular. The telephonists reunion was among the most sucessful, as this was a common career adopted by blind veterans after service.
1935 Royal Albert Hall Reunion
The culmination of reunion activties in our early years was undoubtedly in 1935, with a reunion for blind veterans from the home counties at The Royal Albert Hall. As well as a reunion for over 500 ex-Service men and women and their escorts, it was also a celebration of the Silver Jubilee of King George V.
A tray made by blind veterans during WWII and embellished by Japanese Fighter Pilot Harry O'Hara
For 100 years we have been supported by dedicated volunteers.
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.