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Remembered Today:

blinded and rehabilitated at Marks Tey


Guest Brisbane Bob
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Guest Brisbane Bob

George Stacy was blinded during the war, was hospitalised at Saint Dunstans and re-habilitated at St Marks Tey Essex after the War.

George went on to bring up a family, and developed his remaining senses to an amazing degree.

Has anyone more information concerning these establishments.

cheers

Bob Campbell

Brisbane

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Bob,

Couple of years ago I wrote an article about Esther Cleveland, daughter of former US president Grover Cleveland.

She came to London in 1916 saying to her mother "I want to help with the war" and ended up nursing at St Dunstans.

Out of interest she married W S B Bosanquet of the Coldstream Guards in Westminster Abbey in 1918.

Bob.

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Brisbane - Not info as such, just the comment that watching the St. Dunstan men turn their blinded eyes to the Cenotaph is enough to bring tears to the eyes of the most jaded. Truly, an emotional 'highlight' - if that is the right word' of the march past.

Des

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I've done a bit of research on St. Dunstan's. I also have a book called "The Spirit of St. Dunstan's" by V. M. Duche, published in London in 1938. From the preface:

"These charming and lifelike studies were written by a girl of 18 who was a V.A.D. at St. Dunstan's during the War years. She came voluntarily every day to teach braille to the newly blinded men, having mastered this difficult art herself for the purpose. Our blinded soldiers, sailors and airmen, who still number nearly 2,000 are now in their forties. Then they were 18 or 19 years of age, or in their early twenties. Now they are spread all over this country and the Empire, living in their own homes, pursuing a wide variety of occupations-professional, commercial and industrial. They have learned to be blind; they are useful members of society; they are happy. This is the miracle of St. Dunstan's. Then they were fresh from the fields of France and Flanders, the deserts of the Near East, or the blue waters. Everything that their young lives held out before them seemed to have gone. As Miss Duche says, a curtain seemed to have fallen and blotted out all the brightness of the future."

Miss Duche married one of her blind patients in 1919. The book also notes that by 1938 the old mansion that was St. Dunstan's no longer existed. It was pulled down and replaced by a modern dwelling. It is situated in Regent's park.

In my research on the Canadian side, newspaper reports from the war years mention St. Dunstan's, and the return of blinded men from St. Dunstan's to Canada. There were also articles mentioning the successful return to work by men blinded in the war. I'm attaching a picture of a St. Dunstan's collection box.

post-6-1090783246.jpg

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Here's an article reported in a Toronto paper regarding a blinded soldier who was at St. Dunstan's. Note the picture of the bag that he created.

post-6-1090785723.jpg

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi Bob

I am just a couple of miles down the road from Marks Tey (pretty sure there has never been a ST before the Marks but dont quote me on that) will be happy to take a little time and dig around this weekend if that would be of help (Its little more than a village should not be to arduous)

Tamarin

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Bob

Just to add to Canadawwi's informative post, there is also a book by Lord Fraser of Lonsdale entitled "My Story of ST DUNSTAN'S" (Harrap & Co. Ltd, London 1961). Lord Fraser was blinded on the Somme in 1916 and ultimately ended up in charge of St. Dunstans's after the premature death of its founder, Sir Arthur Pearson.

Rgds

Ed

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  • 1 month later...

This article dated August 17, 1918 (Toronto Star) indicated that the work done at St. Dunstan's was inspiring a new attitude towards the rehabilitation of the blind.

post-6-1096251001.jpg

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We shouldn't forget that the work of St Dunstan's continues to this day. They can be found at http://www.st-dunstans.org.uk/

A very worthwhile charity and (apart from the Salvation Army), the only one that I support on a regular basis. Online donations can be made via the website, or you can find details of more traditional methods by following the links.

SN

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