St Dunstan's is an institution that was founded in 1915 to help servicemen blinded during the First World War. At the time it was expected to be a fairly short-lived organisation that would fade away as the wartime generation slowly disappeared, but the outbreak of the Second World War ensured that it would survive for much longer, and it still exists as Blind Veterans UK.
This book provides a history of St Dunstan's, focusing largely on the two World Wars and the inter-war period, with some material on the post-war research efforts of the charity. The Second World War caused particular problems, with St Dunstan's forced to move from a new home on the south coast to Church Stretton, and the London HQ suffering during the blitz.
During this period St Dunstan's had to struggle on several fronts. The most important was the struggle to develop ways to help the blind veterans become independent, but there was also the endless struggle for funding, clashes with government departments and even with other charities (especially over fundraising and jurisdiction).
Despite those problems the book paints a picture of a successful innovative organisation that played an important part in creating a new attitude to the blind, demonstrating that the blind veterans were far more capable than pre-war society had believed.
1 - Pearson's Vision
2 - Regent's Park and Rehabilitation
3 - St Dunstan's Versus Arsenal
4 - After-care and Independence
5 - Appeals and Arguments
6 - 'The Stayer's Handicap'
7 - 'A Byword for the Blind at Home and Overseas'
8 - The King is Dead, Long Live the King!
9 - Government Inquiry
10 - The 1930s: Recession and Retrenchment
11 - The Quest for Independent Mobility
12 - Talking Books
13 - A Centre Designed for the Blind
14 - The World at War Again
15 - Church Stretton
16 - Bombs on London
17 - Prisoners of War
18 - Survival in the Far East
19 - Tembani: 'Home from Home'
20 - Women at St Dunstan's
21 - Working in a Sighted World
22 - Physiotherapy - the Ideal Profession
23 - 'Handy Andies': The Deaf and the Blind
24 - Research
Conclusion: The Blind Leading the Blind
Author: David Castleton
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military