A former Second World War RAF pilot will share his wartime experiences with the Tenby Macular Society telephone support group at its next group call on June 24.

Harry Garthwaite, who celebrated his 101st birthday on June 4, clocked up almost 2,500 flying hours, and flew 23 different aircraft types before he was demobbed in 1946.

Harry is affected by dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a sight loss condition that affects his central vision. AMD is a form of macular disease, the UK’s biggest cause of sight loss.

The Macular Society, a leading sight loss charity which funds medical research to beat macular disease, suspended all face-to-face support services when the coronavirus first struck last year. Since then the charity has provided a range of telephone and online support services, all of which are available to anyone affected by sight loss, their family or friends.

Sadly, five years ago Harry lost his wife who he had been married to for 67 years, this combined with the restrictions of the pandemic has led to longer periods of isolation for Harry.

An invitation to talk at the Wem Macular Society's support group arose for the former pilot; after he had attended he said: "They made me feel so welcome. I really enjoyed talking to them and we also had a very in-depth discussion about how, during the war, people helped each other, very much as we are all trying to do now.”

“After that talk, the Macular Society got in contact with me to ask if I would be interested in speaking to more of their members and volunteers at some of their other telephone support group meetings across the country. I was surprised but also absolutely delighted because it means that by helping in this way I can reciprocate the community support spirit that I have experienced in my life.”

Adele Francis, senior regional manager for the charity, said: “We are delighted to welcome Harry as a guest speaker to our group call. I have absolutely no doubt that he will be very popular and we very much look forward to hearing his stories.”

The Tenby group holds its telephone meetings at 2pm on the last Thursday of every month.

If you would like to join the call, or for more information about additional support services available locally, please contact Adele Francis on 07494 468 007, or email adele.francis@macularsociety.org. The charity’s regional managers also have Facebook or Twitter accounts that provide another means of contact and local information.