A blind veteran from Chesterfield is set to march at the Cenotaph in London this Remembrance Sunday.
Brian Eldridge will join 100 others blind veterans from the charity Blind Veterans Uk in the capital for this weekend’s commemoration, which also coincides with the 100th anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Somme.
Brian, aged 69, joined the army in 1966, when he was 19, and served in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps training dogs, and the army. He served in Germany and Hong Kong before leaving the army to work for an aerospace company, working with electronics for military aircraft. It was here that Brian first became aware of problems with his eyesight. He was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. Brian tried to cope with his deteriorating sight but, after a serious incident in the workplace, he decided to retire and was registered blind in 2001.
Brian, who became a standard bearer for the charity in 2008, said: “When I first retired after being registered blind I had absolutely no confidence whatsoever and wasn’t sure what lay ahead of me.
“The biggest thing Blind Veterans UK has done for me is to give me back my confidence, which is very important to me.
“Since receiving support from the charity I’ve met some wonderful like-minded friends and enjoyed some great experiences with them. I’m extremely proud to represent Blind Veterans UK in the Remembrance march and will continue to do so for as long as I can. I will do it for everyone I’ve met since becoming part of Blind Veterans UK and all the people I served with.”