A BLIND veteran from Salisbury is set to march at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday

Valerie Peckham, 92, will be marching at the Cenotaph as part of the national Remembrance Sunday commemorations with more than 100 other blind veterans supported by Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Valerie said: “This is my first time marching at the Cenotaph.

"Even though I have lived overseas for many years, I always watched the Cenotaph commemorations on the television.

"My father served in the Royal Artillery in the First World War.

"He was one of the naughty ones who signed up aged 17.

"Taking part in the Cenotaph Parade means that I can remember him in this anniversary year.”

Valerie joined the Army’s Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1944.

Based in Shropshire, she applied to work overseas, expecting to be posted to Germany Instead, Valerie spent three years in Egypt, before leaving the Army when she had returned home in 1948.

Valerie added: “I was one of 30 women needed to go out to Egypt. I started in the Generals HQ in Cairo, but after a disturbance, in which I injured my arm, we all had to leave.

"We left Cairo in the dead of night in Army trucks, and headed to Tel-A-Kaber. We had to wait there until we had transport to go back home.”

Valerie lost her sight due to a dry eye-related degenerative condition, recognised by a doctor in South Africa when she was living there.

Fortunately, upon returning to England in 2016, she found out about Blind Veterans UK and started receiving support from the charity in 2017.

Blind Veterans UK was founded more than 100 years ago to support those blinded in the First World War.

Now, the charity supports veterans regardless of when they served or how they lost their sight.

In October Blind Veterans UK unveiled a bronze statue of seven blinded First World War soldiers outside Manchester Piccadilly station. It is the only permanent memorial in the UK marking the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.

Chief Executive of Blind Veterans UK, Major General (Rtd) Nick Caplin CB says: “Remembrance Sunday is a very poignant time for our blind veterans as we reflect on the sacrifice and service of all members of the Armed Forces.”

“Blind Veterans UK was founded in 1915 in response to the more than 3,000 veterans who were blinded as a result of the First World War. Today we support more blind veterans than ever before in our history, but we know there are many more who still need our help to rebuild their lives following their sight loss.”

Visit blindveterans.org.uk/victory to learn more about the charity and how you can support its vital work today.