John McOwan has released his debut novel at the age of 101
A blind war veteran has released his first book - at the age of 101.
He was provided with specialist equipment from Blind Veterans UK, which helps veterans with visual impairments, and learned how to use a tablet to take photos of his writings, which he then sent to the charity via email to be typed up.
His military career saw him work as a mechanical engineer with the so-called 'Desert Rats', where he was stationed in the Middle East, Cairo and Italy.
John’s book gives a personal account of the harsh terrain and climate in the desert, explaining that the relentless, oppressive heat was just as much an enemy as the forces they were deployed to fight against.
He also writes about the part he played in the D-Day landings, including the horrors he witnessed at Gold Beach in Normandy.
In 1946, he was discharged from the British Army as a Sergeant, and returned home to the Borders.
"At first, I wasn’t sure how much I had to write, but it was like opening a can of worms," he said.
"Once I started, I couldn’t stop and suddenly there weren’t enough hours in the day.
"It’s been really therapeutic to put pen to paper and relive some of those memories."
John hopes his memoirs will help families who have lost loved ones through war.
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