A blind veteran has drawn a second cartoon book with support from Blind Veterans UK.

Fred Jefferies, 87, from Tring, started his drawing career as an intern at a small art studio in London after studying at St Martin’s School of Art but was called up for National Service in 1947.

He joined the Royal Artillery and had basic training in Devon, before being stationed in North Wales and then Newbury.

Fred was able to continue training in the arts as the Army gave him a motorcycle at each base he was stationed so that he could attend classes in the evening.

He left the Army in 1949, declining a promotion, as he wanted to pursue a career in the arts.

Fred says: “I worked on anything that came along, from sign writing to commercial vehicles. I could look at something and see what to do with it and where it should go.”

He continued his career for 50 years until, in 2001, he was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), a leading cause of blindness in older people.

“I went for a check-up at my local opticians because I noticed my vision wasn’t as it used to be. I was referred to the hospital where I was told I was going blind,” Fred explains. “I was devastated and felt like crying, it was horrible.”

Ten years later Fred crossed paths with a 100-year-old woman on holiday and she directed him to Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

With their support he was able to return to drawing and published his first illustrated book, Love Bites, in 2015.

“I was immediately encouraged to try my hand at it again and was shown equipment that might help,” Fred tells me. “I started when I got back home and from it came my first cartoon book and now my second book Love is Small Talk.

“I’m enjoying life again and drawing inspiration from everything. Love is Small Talk was partly inspired by my grandchildren and great grandchildren. It looks at the innocence and perspective of children and how they go through every day scenarios with a good sense of humour.

“I’ll never stop drawing now, I have too much inspiration and I'm incredibly happy I get to draw cartoons again.”

All proceeds for Love is Small Talk go to Blind Veterans UK, the book is available at bookguild.co.uk