Charity bike ride in memory of father blinded in WWII

Group photo of the cyclists

A Salisbury man is organising a bike ride from Southampton to Hereford to raise money for the RNC  in memory of his late father who was a student there in the 1940s and 1950s.


Robin Stephens (59) will be cycling 175 miles in October with a group of friends and colleagues to support the Hereford-based college in appreciation of the help his father, Gordon, received after losing his sight in an air raid in 1941.


Gordon Stephens was born in Cardiff in 1931 and, at the age of nine, was living on Blackstone Street during one of the worst nights of the Blitz on the Welsh capital.


Following strikes on his home, Gordon was pulled from the rubble as the only survivor on his street. He lost most of his sight as a result of his injuries and later became a student at RNC where he studied music and took a teaching diploma.


Gordon later entered the Civil Service and worked for the Ministry of Aviation in London. After taking up a special training opportunity in computer programming in 1966, he transferred to Customs and Excise in Southend, where he ultimately became a senior manager. Gordon taught children to play the piano in his spare time. In his retirement he helped other visually impaired people to cope with their sight loss, particularly by discussing his own experience, demonstrating useful gadgets, and teaching Braille. He was awarded an MBE in 1988 for his services.


Robin Stephens said: 


“After losing Dad in 2015, we set up a family memorial trust to help support the terrific work of the RNC. They gave him the opportunities and skills to lead his extraordinary life. 


“The fundraising bike ride is one of many ways I’d like to support the College so they can continue to help young people with visual impairments.” 


Frankie Devereux, Fundraising Manager at RNC added: 


“We are extremely lucky that the College has such passionate supporters. Robin’s efforts are not only a testament to the help his father gained from RNC but also a tribute to his achievements throughout his life”.


Visit to find out more or to make a donation. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *