Chelsea Pensioner Sandy
(Photo: Charlie Surbey)

Gordon "Sandy" Sanders

"I am very proud to be a Chelsea Pensioner. I served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers between 1952 and 1976. In 1986 my wife was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease and we decided to move to Portugal. By 1999, she was so ill that we had to return to England in the hope of finding a kidney donor. We found a donor... me.

It's amazing when you think about it. The chances of it happening are so slim. I was 65 then, too old for an op like that really, but it gave my wife another seven and a half years of happiness. She died on 12th July 2007. We'd been married for 48 years. 

Being at the Royal Hospital has taken away the loneliness of my bereavement. My days are full. the biggest thing that keeps you going is the banter - no one has a good word to say about anyone else and we wouldn't have it any other way! It keeps us alive!"

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Paul Whittick
“When we’re out of lockdown, I’ll be ready!”

Chelsea Pensioner Paul Whittick, who served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, has always been keen on keeping fit. In the light of lockdown, he says staying physically and mentally active is more important than ever.

Pensioners on parade for the Royal visit
“It’s a lovely day tomorrow”

The pandemic has meant it’s been a very difficult year for us all. The Chelsea Pensioners are no exception and have missed getting out and about. Nevertheless, they’ve put a brave face on it and, as one Chelsea Pensioner puts it, “the banter continues”.

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