Pensioner William Fraser BEM is taking lockdown in his stride and enjoying a relaxed routine – although he misses a drink in the Club with his friends.

Colin was 20 years old when he was deployed –the youngest in the observation post Party he served in. He still suffers from the frostbite he got while cut off by the Chinese.

Gerry Farmer, 1951 Royal Fusiliers, lost his friend Cpl Derby in the conflict. He was left with shrapnel in his spine and lifelong claustrophobia, after being trapped in a Jeep at the bottom of a river while trying to escape Chinese mortars.

Arthur Bisson, Royal Military Police, was demobbed in 1947, then called up again to go to Korea in 1950. He served there for eight months in total.

Alfred Mason, Durham Light Infantry (28 Commonwealth Brigade) remembers the conditions they were faced with during the conflict.

Chelsea Pensioner Roy Palmer, 81, talks about his time in isolation and the life experiences that have helped him to cope with the Royal Hospital’s restrictions during the pandemic. 

In March 2009, the Royal Hospital opened its doors to the first female Chelsea Pensioners: Dorothy Hughes and Winifred Phillips who both sadly are no longer alive. You can meet some of today’s female Pensioners below.

David Jackson is the only Chelsea Pensioner who was a pilot in the Army. After serving in Aden, North Africa, Cyprus and the UK, he became a commercial pilot. All together, he has clocked up an impressive 20,000 flying hours! Here he shares some of the highs and lows of his airborne career.

Alan joined the army as a boy soldier aged just 14 years of age. Initially based in Cardiff; Alan moved to Belfast where he quickly established himself as a personal fitness instructor. In July 1944, having become old enough to join the regular Army, he transferred to the Army Air Corps as a paratrooper and went on to fight during the height of WWII - deep behind enemy lines in Germany.

In 1945, when an 18 year old Helen Andrews was told by the Army – “don’t tell a soul where you’ve been” – she followed their orders to the letter. It wasn’t until 70 years later, that Helen was finally happy to share the story about her involvement in the Second World War, her time at Bletchley Park, codebreaking and the Enigma machine.

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King's Royal Hussars - Parade
King’s Royal Hussars Parade

On Tuesday 23rd June, Chelsea Pensioners – at a distance – were treated to the sunshine and spectacle of the King’s Royal Hussars on parade at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Willy Fraser BEM
Lockdown Story - Chelsea Pensioner William Fraser BEM

Pensioner William Fraser BEM is taking lockdown in his stride and enjoying a relaxed routine – although he misses a drink in the Club with his friends.

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