Blind veteran set to march in Remembrance commemorations

John Thompson, 74, will represent Blind Veterans UK at the national Remembrance Sunday commemorations.
John Thompson, 74, will represent Blind Veterans UK at the national Remembrance Sunday commemorations.

A blind army veteran is set to march at the Cenotaph in London as part of the national Remembrance Sunday commemorations.

John Thompson, 74, will represent Blind Veterans UK when he attends the national Remembrance Sunday commemorations on November 13.

Mr Thompson, from East Boldon, will be joined by more than 100 other blind veterans - supported by Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Joining the Army in 1960, Mr Thompson became part of the Royal Engineers, completing his basic training in Farnborough, before he was stationed in Germany.

He later served in the Far East and served in Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, before leaving the Army in 1969.

In 2003 Mr Thompson woke up one morning and couldn’t see from his right eye.

He later discovered that a blood clot had robbed him of his sight.

He said: “I didn’t know what was happening at first and that was quite frightening.

“Fortunately, I was still able to drive until I had a stroke two years ago. After that I lost most of the vision in my other eye.”

After hearing of Blind Veterans UK while in hospital, he started receiving help and support from the charity.

He added: “Blind Veterans UK have looked after me and have given me training on how to live independently with sight loss as well as equipment to support me day to day.

“I’m honoured to be representing Blind Veterans UK and marching with other veterans supported by the charity.”