A CHOIR of blind veterans has released its first record to mark Armed Forces Day.

The group, called Vision in Song, was formed in Essex in 2018 and its members range in age from 76 to 96.

The ten ex-servicemen from the Army, Navy and RAF have released their first EP called Sing As We Go.

It features three wartime classics Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag, It’s A Long Way to Tipperary and the title track Sing As We Go.

The men hail from across Essex including Basildon, Maldon, Chelmsford, Harwich and Halstead.

The group perform an assortment of numbers from war-time classics to patriotic anthems and jazz hits and meet weekly for rehearsals.

Vision in Song was born after Harwich veteran Danny Williams told his community team leader Jennie Hammond, of charity Blind Veterans UK, how much he desired to sing again.

Jennie, a community support worker, said: “The rehearsals have really brought the group together and provided companionship which is so crucial in combating the isolation that is so often felt in older people, particularly if they have a disability like sight loss.

“It all started with visiting one of our veterans called Danny.

“I visited him at home and was really moved by his story.

“His great love was singing but when he lost his sight he was unable to be accommodated by his old choir.

“I made it my mission to make sure Danny could sing as part of a choir group again.”

Danny, 78, said he got so much joy from singing in the choir.

“Jennie asked me what I missed most since my sight loss and without hesitation I told her it was being part of a singing group,” he said.

“Words cannot express how much joy Vision In Song has given me and I’m so thankful to Jennie and Blind Veterans UK for making it happen.”

Former Royal Artillery wireless operator Ted Cruse, 82, from Basildon, said: “Vision In Song has given all of us a chance to sing again when we thought we never would.

“There is a real sense of camaraderie in the group and we all really look forward to rehearsals.”

The group performed their first concerts in Essex last year and are supported by choir mistress Jane Gould, accordion player Margaret Hunter and volunteer Reg Morris.

The songs are available to download and stream on online music services.

Any proceeds made from downloads or streams of the songs to be donated to Blind Veterans UK.

To view their music video for Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag see blindveterans.org.uk/choir.