Blind veteran to take part in capital parade

David Hazelgrove
David Hazelgrove

A blind RAF veteran from Skegness is to take part in a London parade as part of Remembrance Sunday.

David Hazelgrove will join about 100 other representatives of Blind Veterans UK, which this year celebrates its 100 years’ of service to vision impaired ex-service men and women.

It was in 2009 that he began to lose his sight after being diagnosed with diabetes. He was registered blind in 2010.

“Losing my sight stopped me dead in my tracks,” he explained. “I couldn’t do much of the things I used to do, such as driving.”

David comes from an armed forces family - with his father having served in the RAF, and David joining himself aged 17. During his career he worked in air defence and served in Hong Kong, eventually leaving the RAF in 1984 after 13 years’ service as a senior aircraftsman. He later worked in radar.

The 61-year-old has been for training at one of the charity’s training centres in Sheffield and he has received specialist equipment from the charity, including a knife proof cooking glove and a magnifier to allow him to continue to live as independently as possible.

“Blind Veterans UK has given me a new lease of life,” he added: “It’s because of the charity that I’m now involved in my local community partnership, and have in fact become their treasurer.”

David is also part of the charity’s Get Out And Live (GOAL) group which was set up for veterans who want to engage in new experiences and go out on activities.

He will march to the Cenotaph with more than 100 other blind veterans on Remembrance Sunday.

He concluded: “Remembrance means a great deal to me due to my family and my own time in the armed forces. I think about the people who would have been marching with me, but can’t.”

For more on the charity visit www.blindveterans.org.uk