Appeal for 100th birthday cards for D-Day veteran Ron

A military charity has joined an appeal to send cards to a blind D-Day veteran spending his 100th birthday in isolation.
Military charity Blind Veterans UK is backing an appeal for people to send birthday cards to Ron Cross, a blind D-Day veteran, who will be celebrating his 100th birthday in isolation.Military charity Blind Veterans UK is backing an appeal for people to send birthday cards to Ron Cross, a blind D-Day veteran, who will be celebrating his 100th birthday in isolation.
Military charity Blind Veterans UK is backing an appeal for people to send birthday cards to Ron Cross, a blind D-Day veteran, who will be celebrating his 100th birthday in isolation.

Blnd Veterans UK is calling for people to send cards to Ron Cross MBE after his granddaughter Amy started the appeal. Ron’s 100th birthday is on Monday, June 8 – two days after the 76th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Amy said: “We can’t have the 100th birthday party that we’d imagined for my wonderful grandad so I wanted to do something to make him feel less lonely as he celebrates in isolation.”

Cards should be sent to the offices of Caroline Dinenage MP at 167 Stoke Road, Gosport, PO12 1SE.

Ron, who received the Legion of Honour from the French government in honour of his wartime service, was a member of the 79th Armoured Division, a unit specifically created to form the first line of attack during the Allied invasion. Seving with the Armoured Vehicles Royal Engineers, Ron and his unit were responsible for landing tanks and clearing minefields.

Following discharge as a corporal in 1946, Ron spent 37 years working as an operational therapist at Haslar Hospital in Gosport, receiving an MBE in recognition of his work at the hospital.

Ron began losing his eyesight in 2009 and was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration. He has been receiving support from Blind Veterans UK since 2012.

Ron said: “Once my sight started to get worse I thought that I should stop driving and went to my optometrist who said that I would have to stop. My sight has got worse steadily since then.

“Blind Veterans UK are marvellous. Three years ago I couldn’t write a letter anymore because my sight had got so bad. But I went on a Blind Veterans UK IT course and they have given me all the training and equipment I need to carry on. I have a special screen that magnifies what I write and software that reads it back to me.

“I can now send emails which is so important for keeping in touch with people like my grandchildren.”

Amy added: “Blind Veterans UK gave my grandad a computer which speaks to him so he can use it despite not being able to see much. I love telling people that my 99 year-old grandad sends me emails, I’m so proud of him!”

Blind Veterans UK supports 5,000 people, more than 90 per cent of whom are over 70 years old and self-isolating in line with government advice.

Charity director Nicky Shaw said: “Having to self-isolate, blind veterans need our help right now with daily tasks, such as the shopping, and constant emotional support through this difficult time. So we are temporarily changing our service and mobilising our staff to provide practical, essential support to help the most vulnerable.”

“There is so much that we can and must do to support blind veterans to help them maintain physical and emotional wellbeing, and to feel safe, reassured and cared for during this crisis.”

For more information about the charity’s work during this crisis, visit here.