The Founding of the Royal Hospital Chelsea

Until the 17th Century the state made no specific provision for old and injured soldiers. Care for the poor and sick was provided by the religious foundations. Most of this provision ended following the dissolution of the monasteries during the reign of King Henry VIII.

In 1681, responding to the need to look after these soldiers, King Charles II (image right) issued a Royal Warrant authorising the building of the Royal Hospital Chelsea to care for those 'broken by age or war'.

Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to design and erect the building. Sir Stephen Fox was commissioned to secure the funds necessary to progress the build. 

The chosen site, set adjacent to the River Thames in the countryside of Chelsea contained the uncompleted building of the former 'Chelsey College'. In 1692 work was finally completed and the first Chelsea Pensioners were admitted in February 1692 and by the end of March the full complement of 476 were in residence.

 

King Charles II

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Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson Visits the Chelsea Pensioners
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson visits the Chelsea Pensioners

The Chelsea Pensioners welcomed Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, alongside members of the Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs to their home on Friday 7th September.

London Remembers WW1

On the 1st of September the Chelsea Pensioners, in partnership with The Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association for Greater London, proudly led a military Parade down the King’s Road to commemorate Londoners who contributed to the war effort in World War One.

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