St Dunstan's: Henry Allingham pays tribute on the 90th anniversary of the Great War
Thursday, 6 November 2008
Henry Allingham 112, St Dunstaner and the oldest surviving World War veteran has paid tribute on the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I. He was Guest of Honour for an event to share personal messages of remembrance marking the armistice.
4000 flags were planted during the event, organised by St Dunstan's, the national charity founded during the Great War to provide lifelong support to blind ex-Service men and women. Flags carried messages from thousands of St Dunstan's supporters expressing admiration for those who served and lost their sight and paying tribute to the sacrifices of those who fought in World War I.
Henry, now resident at St Dunstan's Ovingdean Centre, attended the ceremony in the grounds, commanding panoramic views over the south coast.
Ray Hazan, President of St Dunstan's and himself blinded in action in Northern Ireland whilst serving with Royal Anglian Regiment said:
'With this ceremony we wanted to pay our respects to the fallen from World War I who in laying down their lives, made the ultimate sacrifice. We are also sending a message of encouragement to our St Dunstaners who, with the support of our organisation, have overcome many challenges to lead rich and fulfilling lives.'
One poignant message reads;
'Although they now walk in darkness they bought light to our world. My thoughts are with all the brave men who lost their lives or returned blind from the battlefield.'
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