A blind veteran from Shropshire has written a book of funny anecdotes to raise money for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.
Chris Lowe, 86, from Market Drayton, has put pen to paper to share 366 humorous tales, one for every day of the year plus an extra for a leap year.
‘Carry on Smiling – Quips and Quiddities to Brighten Each Day’ is the perfect book to buy yourself ready for the new year. It is available to purchase on Amazon with the profits being shared between Blind Veterans UK and the First Note Music Trust which aims to inspire a love of music in children.
Chris was called up for National Service at 19 years old. He served in the British Army with the North Staffordshire Regiment, the Prince of Wales as an infantry officer in Germany. He was then seconded to edit a divisional Army magazine due to the fact he had edited his school magazine.
Following his National Service, Chris served in the Territorial Army for 13 years and also worked in education and law. He was a headteacher for 30 years. It was Chris’ time in education that gave him many of the funny tales for his latest book. Throughout his career, he jotted down the humorous things that children said and did.
Chris has always enjoyed writing. He said:
“My first writing effort was when I was just nine years old; I wrote the history of Canterbury in just nine pages. I handed it around to my family. Since then I’ve had a few stories published.”
Chris first noticed a problem with his sight in 2014. It was discovered he had glaucoma in both eyes and he was registered as severely sight impaired in 2023.
“I was driving down the motorway in 2014 when the lorry in front of me appeared to become two lorries. I rang my sons who came and picked me up and I’ve not driven since.
“I realised myself that I was going blind before I was told. My sight now is very misty, it is like looking through a lace curtain. I can no longer see details. I have always had a season ticket for Stoke City Football Club, but this is the first year that I haven’t as I can no longer follow the game.”
Chris was already aware of Blind Veterans UK as he’d been a supporter of the charity. He got in touch with them and began to receive their support in 2023.
“Blind Veterans UK has helped me tremendously. I’ve been introduced to lots of technology that has enabled me to carry on writing.
“Not only that but I’ve also met many fantastic people, volunteers, staff and fellow blind veterans. Everyone has been such a great inspiration to me as they all have an amazing positive attitude.”
If you would like to help Chris raise money for Blind Veterans UK, you can purchase his book, which he calls the book of the year – as it literally contains a year’s worth of stories, on Amazon.
Blind Veterans UK supports thousands of blind veterans across the country but knows there are many thousands more who still need its support to rebuild their lives after sight loss.
If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces, including National Service, and are now struggling with sight loss, then please get in touch. Call 0800 389 7979 or visit: blindveterans.org.uk/gethelp.