Tributes have been paid to a Second World War veteran who lost his sight in battle.

Reg Goding, a leading light for Blind Veterans UK, has died aged 97,at Dean Wood Nursing Home, Brighton Mr Goding led an incredible life, which saw him serve in some of the most significant battles in the Second World War.

Having fought in The Middle East and North Africa with the Desert Rats, Mr Goding was transferred to Italy where he lost his sight from a flak explosion.

Though he survived the blast on the River Sangro, two of his fellow soldiers who were stood next to him died instantly.

Despite this, Mr Goding loved his time in the army and said that he would have stayed in the services had he not been blinded in action.

He spoke fondly of the camaraderie he found in the army and would later go back to Italy to visit the graves of his fallen comrades.

Mr Goding went to Blind Veterans UK, which has a centre in Ovingdean, in 1944 and was supported by the charity for 70 years. Despite his sight loss, Mr Goding developed a great talent for art and craftwork. As a man with a keen social conscience, Mr Goding applied his talents as a woodworker to helping others.

He donated wooden toys he made to local charities and a toy lending library for children with learning difficulties.

Lynn Powling, Reg’s welfare officer at Blind Veterans UK, said: “Reg was a man with a wonderfully dry sense of humour and a fantastically detailed memory.

“He was a real fixture of the Arts and Crafts workshop at Blind Veterans UK’s Brighton centre, where he would produce these amazing mosaics and toys, I’m sure there are many of his toys still on people’s shelves throughout Brighton to this day.

“We at the Blind Veterans UK are sad to say goodbye to Reg, but privileged to have known him and experienced his warm and ready wit and kind spirit.”