Veterans With a Vision by Serge Marc Durflinger


Veterans With a Vision : Canada’s War Blinded in Peace and War by Serge Marc Durflinger

This book is a poignant exploration of Canada’s war-blinded veterans, emphasizing their resilience and the transformative impact of the Sir Arthur Pearson Association of War Blinded. The book captures the veterans’ journey through rehabilitation, showcasing their advocacy for rights and societal perception. With broad appeal to academic and general audiences, it offers a unique perspective on the often-overlooked challenges faced by war-blinded individuals and their role in reshaping societal views of war disability in Canada.

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“I was unlucky enough to get in the way of one of the shrapnel bullets. I felt a slight sting in my right temple as though pricked by a red-hot needle – and then the world became black. Dawn was now breaking, but night had sealed my eyes!” – James Rawlinson, blinded at Vimy, 1917

We know something about our war dead but almost nothing about our war wounded. Veterans with a Vision provides a vibrant, poignant, and very human history of Canada’s war-blinded veterans and of the organization they founded in 1922, the Sir Arthur Pearson Association of War Blinded. Serge Durflinger details the veterans’ process of civil re-establishment, physical and psychological rehabilitation, and social and personal coping and describes their public advocacy for government pension entitlements, job retraining, and other social programs. This book captures the spirit of perseverance that permeated the veterans’ community and highlights the accomplishments of the war blinded as advocates for all Canadian veterans and for all blind citizens.

Serge Marc Durflinger is an associate professor of history at the University of Ottawa. He is the author of Fighting from Home: The Second World War in Verdun, Quebec and co-editor of War and Society in Post-Confederation Canada.

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