Piccadilly Station statue marks five year anniversary- here’s its story and what it represents

The statue has stood outside the busy train station for five years now, here’s the story of what it represents
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Thousands of people pass it by everyday, and few have the opportunity to really capture just how powerful it is. But the ‘Victory over Blindness’ statue outside Piccadilly Station is an example of how the memory of the First World War lives on. 

During the conflict, over 3,000 soldiers lost their eyesight. This was one of the dreadful consequences of fighting in horrendous conditions where danger was constantly on the soldiers minds. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The statue has been in its Piccadilly Station home for five years now. It was installed by the charity Blind Veterans UK in 2018 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. 

The charity was set up in 1915 to help those soldiers who had lost their sight during the war. Its name, ‘Victory Over Blindness’ is taken from a phrase used by the founder of the charity Sir Arthur Pearson. 

The story of ‘Victory Over Blindness’ 

Realised by artist and sculptor Johanna Domke-Guyot, the statue is the only permanent memorial to soldiers injured during the dreadful conflict. The statue highlights the camaraderie of soldiers as the injured lead one another away from the horrors of the battlefield to the safety of a hospital and then, hopefully, home. 

The location of the memorial, according to the charity, couldn't be more fitting. The Heaton Park convalescent camp cared for and trained thousands of soldiers and sailors from the war. For five years now, the statue has had pride of place next to one of Manchester’s busiest spots. 

The five year anniversary of ‘Victory Over Blindness’ 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This week, the statue marked its fifth anniversary. On the special day itself, the statue ‘came to life’ so to speak. 

Manchester City Council posted a video on social media showing what happened. Seven actors lined up next to the statue and replicated the moving stance of the soldiers leading each other. 

It was a poignant reminder of the true, human cost of the war and also how millions died, yet many more were permanently scarred. 

The stories of the soldiers

Blind Veterans UK paired each of the seven soldiers in the statue with a blind veteran of the past or present.  To find out more about each of the veterans, visit the charity website. 

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.