D-day landings veteran Bill, 95 supports charity
A 95-year-old blind veteran is supporting new research by the national sight loss charity.
Blind Veterans UK’s Isolation Survey 2016, was commissioned to identify any feelings of isolation among the UK’s blind veteran population.
Bill Evans from Holyhead, joined the Royal Artillery in April 1939 when he was 18, three days before the Second World War broke out.
He signed up with his brother as they wanted to Serve together. However, after six months they were separated as his brother was posted to India.
Bill spent some time in the UK prior to deployment to Egypt with the 8th Army, where his ship was sunk on the way to Sicily.
He said, “The ship came under attack and caught fire, we were scared that it would explode as it had so much ammunition on it, so we had to bail out into the sea. “I was lucky to survive.” After this incident Bill moved into Sicily and then Italy. Later he was redeployed to France where he took part in the D-day landings and went into Belgium.
His final posting was in Norway before being discharged as a Sapper in September 1946. He was then reunited with his brother in Salisbury.
Bill suffers with age-related macular degeneration and in 2003 he noticed that his sight was deteriorating as he kept clipping a gatepost when driving.
He went for an eye test and was diagnosed with macular degeneration, and had to give up his driving license.
He had previously enjoyed walking but was unable to do this as much as he lost his depth perception and could only walk outside with a cane.
Fortunately, Bill found out about Blind Veterans UK and became a beneficiary of the charity in August 2011.
Bill says he enjoys the social opportunities provided, having visited each of the Blind Veterans UK’s centres at least three times for holidays.
If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces or did National Service and are now battling severe sight loss, find out how Blind Veterans UK could help by calling 0800 389 7979 or visiting www.noonealone.org.uk.
Blind veteran Bill Evans