Former Mexborough soldier to march in Cenotaph parade

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A former Mexborough schoolboy who went on to join the Coldstream Guards is to join thousands of proud veterans at this year’s Remembrance Day march to the Cenotaph in London.

Michael Scanlan, 55, will march alongside members of Blind Veterans UK, a charity dedicated to helping former servicemen and women who have lost their sight. He became blind as a result of diabetic maculopathy.

Michael, who was born in Mexborough in 1958, joined the Coldstream Guards as a career soldier just after he left school.

After training at Pirbright Depot he served in Germany, Cyprus, Canada, Kenya, Northern Ireland and most of Europe.

After being discharged as a Drummer in 1993, Michael went on to work as a school caretaker and later a security supervisor for the Forestry Commission.

Michael had to give up his job when he began to lose his sight in 2000. Blind Veterans UK helps people regardless of when they sight fails.

Michael, who now lives in Beverley, East Riding, said: “The days I spent in service were great days for me. I made good friends and there was always good banter. I am still in contact with the people I served with.

“Every April I attend a reunion in Doncaster with them and there are always excellent war stories to share and lots of laughs.

“I found out I was diabetic in 1995 and from then on my eye sight started to gradually deteriorate. Initially it was frightening but now I am used to the fact that I am blind.”

Michael, who is training for an NVQ in IT and hopes to find employment again, said: “I will be incredibly proud to march on behalf of Blind Veterans UK at this year’s march. The day is about remembering those who are not here anymore but also, for me, a way of saying that just because I have a disability I can still get on and join in the event. I will be marching with a very old friend who served in the same battalion as me, which means a lot.”

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