Blinded soldiers statue unveiled

Blind Soldiers Memorial Unveiled With Ceremony

A permanent memorial commissioned to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War has gone on display in Manchester on Tuesday.

Blinded soldiers statue unveiled

The monument was unveiled on Tuesday morning outside Manchester Piccadilly station (Picture: Blind Veterans UK).

A statue of seven blinded First World War soldiers has been unveiled at a special ceremony.

It marks the centenary of the end of the conflict.

The bronze statue will be permanently placed outside Manchester Piccadilly Station as a memorial to the injured of the conflict.

It was commissioned by the military charity Blind Veterans UK and announced earlier this year.

Entitled, 'Victory Over Blindness', it depicts the seven soldiers after losing their sight, marching with their hand on the shoulder of the man in front.

Chief executive of Blind Veterans UK, retired Major General Nick Caplin said:

"In 2018 victory over blindness means enabling blind veterans to lead the lives they choose."

The original sculpture was conceived and designed by artist and sculptor Johanna Domke-Guyot, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1994 and studied art as a way of dealing with her illness.

She said: "I remember deciding one day after my diagnosis that I didn't want to give up. I went back into education and found a new love.

"I started the piece this bronze is based on in 2011. It was like art therapy for me and, due to relapses, took years in the end."

The sculpture was commissioned by the military charity Blind Veterans UK (Picture: Blind Veterans UK/Twitter).

Ms Domke-Guyot went on to say: "I'm over the moon with how the statue has turned out. It's been a very long journey and I under-estimated how emotional I would feel about the whole process.

"The time I've had with these seven figures over these years and seeing them come to life has been really amazing.

"Bringing them to life again in a bronze that will last for years and years is overwhelming. People will be able to touch them, I want it to become a people's piece."