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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Ranelagh Gardens & Rotunda
From prehistoric marsh to a college that never opened – uncovering the story of our site

The Royal Hospital dates back to the late 17th century, but the story of the land where it stands has been traced back still further. Research from the Museum of London Archaeology has thrown light on the site’s varied past.

Salisbury Court Gardens - Royal Hospital Chelsea
Royal Hospital's Hidden Show Garden

This year a new garden was successfully installed in Salisbury Court, the private courtyard within the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary.

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