Post date: 
Wednesday, 22 November 2017
Poppies in a field

A century of NB - RNIB’s flagship publication, NB Online, is this year being recognised for reaching 100 years in circulation. Each month throughout the year, we look in the archives to find out what issues blind and partially sighted people have faced since the magazine started in 1917.

We look back almost 100 years to NB's editorial marking the end of the First World War. The editor remembers those who were lost, praises the community of St. Dunstan's Hostel and looks forward to a new era of 'Peace and Reform'.

At last the terrible cloud that has darkened the world for more than four years has lifted, and we are able to await the approach of Christmas with thankfulness and hope. Once more we are able to wish our friends a Happy Christmas without fear that some terrible catastrophe will darken our homes. 

At the same time there will be for many of us more than a tinge of sadness – as, with our hearts full of thanksgiving, we meet together around the table – at the thought of all the brave young lives that have been sacrificed so that Peace and Liberty may come once more into the world. 

There is only one consoling thought and that is that the lives of our brave soldiers have not been sacrificed in vain. Each one who gave his life for his country has written down his name on the imperishable scroll of fame: each one has been a living emblem of our belief in our cause and in the ultimate triumph of good over evil. 

It must be years before the world will return to its normal courses again: it will take energy unbounded and a high courage for us to bring back order out of the chaos engendered by Prussian brutality.


To those of us who are connected with work among the blind the war has given us a great and, if we may say so, uplifting impetus. 

There is not the faintest doubt that in the past the attitude towards blindness has been in far too many cases looked upon as an affliction that could be alleviated by almsgiving and a certain amount of condescending support. Only in isolated cases was it suggested that loss of sight meant nothing more than a handicap, severe if you like, and yet a handicap that could be marvellously negatived by intelligent sympathy and the introduction of a better attitude of heart. 

The work accomplished at St. Dunstan’s Hostel, under the auspices of Sir Arthur Pearson, stands to-day not only as a monument to indefatigable energy and soul-inspiring endeavour, but has been instrumental in awakening the interest of the world afresh towards the needs of the whole Blind Community.

Anyone who has visited St. Dunstan’s must have been struck by the wonderful normality that reins there. 

In the days that are ahead, in the new era of Peace and Reform upon which the sun has now risen, we must make it our bounden duty to remember that humanity has but one common cause – the cause of advancement and better understanding in everything we attempt. We must never allow ourselves to forget that this was will have been in vain if we allow ourselves to slip back in to the thoughtless, haphazard paths that too many of us followed in the years of our imagined prosperity.

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