Member Stories

Our members' accounts of life after sight loss, and how Scottish War Blinded has supported them are uplifting and inspiring. Find out more with insights into their lives. 

 

Michael Gray

Michael stands beside Hawkhead Centre bannerScottish War Blinded member, Michael Gray, was the first member to attend the Hawkhead Centre. Michael served in the Royal Navy for four years but was forced to leave service aged just 19 when he sustained a head injury that caused him to lose the sight in one eye.

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William Montgomerie

William Montgomerie, aged 61 of North Ayrshire, served 35 years in the forces, beginning his career aged just 15 at the Scottish Infantry Depot in the Bridge of Don. But he was forced to retire early from service with the Territorial Army, and from his civilian job as a Firefighter at Prestwick International Airport, after suffering a blow to the head by an aircraft door which caused a brain injury, mental health problems, and subsequently a series of heart attacks.

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John Finlay

John Finlay has been coming to the Linburn Centre since it opened and think of it as a lifeline.Here he says, in his own words, what makes the centre so special.image of members of Scottish War Blinded

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Peter Conaghan

Veteran of the Royal Logistics Corps, and Parachute Regiment, former paratrooper, Pete was running in his own successful family business, when a stroke unexpectedly robbed him of his livelihood, and sense of self in 2016. 

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Bill Cooper

Visually impaired National Service veteran Bill Cooper, of Glasgow is the star of a new advertising campaign, raising awareness of the wide range of people eligible for our support. 

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Robert Reid

Robert ReidRobert Reid was just 25 years old and on duty in Iraq, as a Lance-Corporal of the Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland when an IED roadside bomb ignited, changing his life dramatically.He was gravely injured, and amongst other injuries, lost the vision in his right eye.    

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Michael Kelbie

Michael KelbieI was blinded by a hand grenade over 28 years ago in Germany during my service with the Gordon Highlanders. This was a very busy and difficult time as I was in and out of hospital undergoing multiple operations, and I didn’t join Scottish War Blinded at that time.

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Susan Dunham

Susan DunhamAfter I lost my sight I became aware of Scottish War Blinded - but my perception was that they helped soldiers injured in wartime, and so I thought my time spent in the Royal Navy Reserves wouldn’t qualify me to become a member. A social worker from the old local society for the Blind heard that Scottish War Blinded had expanded their services and contacted them on my behalf. I was surprised to hear that I was eligible for membership - I had no idea and this was a pleasant surprise. 

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Derek McDonald

 Derek McDonaldI first came across Scottish War Blinded in 2012 during Armed Forces Day in Princes Street Gardens. Elayne and I were innocently wandering around the exhibits and listening to the bands. Lovely! Then it happened, the moment my life changed.  Above her tent was the sign Scottish War Blinded. She was looking at me, (sigh), she had noticed me, (sigh) she was coming over, (oh!) and she said ‘I notice you have a white cane’. (aw!).

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