Chelsea Pensioners move in to new Long Wards

The last remaining Chelsea Pensioners living in temporary accommodation are starting to move back into the historic Sir Christopher Wren designed ‘Long Wards’ at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

For the last 18 months the West Wing of the Royal Hospital has been expertly restored to 21st century standards. It will be the first time since the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s opening in 1692 that all of the Pensioners will have their own bedroom, study space and en suite shower room facilities.

These are the final Pensioner accommodations to be updated from the 9 x 9 foot berths with communal bathrooms, to bedrooms with en suite shower rooms and study area. 50 Chelsea Pensioners will be moving over the next few weeks.

The Governor of the Royal Hospital Chelsea General Sir Redmond Watt said: “The accommodation we now provide is truly excellent and up to 21st century standards. I must thank our dedicated in-house team, English Heritage and also all of the architects and contractors who have worked on this project. They have preserved the historic buildings left to us by Sir Christopher Wren and have created in them a truly fitting home for our nation’s veterans.”

On Sunday a new documentary series ‘Chelsea’s Scarlet Army’ on Forces TV will tell the story of the Chelsea Pensioners and life at the Royal Hospital throughout the renovation works last year. Read more here and see a preview of the documentary.

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