Chelsea Pensioner Carol reflects on what Remembrance means to her
11th November 2022
Remembrance is important because it’s history. These people should be remembered by the Nation, because they gave their lives.Throughout my life I always stopped to remember, we were taught to by my father. Then, as a soldier, we normally had a church parade and at 11 o’clock you’d stand still and honour Remembrance. Some people think it’s just for World War I, but it’s for every conflict. Most people will be polite and stand and be quiet. In railway stations, bus stations, shops and supermarkets, people stop. It’s respectful.
I felt extremely proud to go to the Royal Albert Hall and the Cenotaph last year – that was two things that I always wanted to do off my bucket list. In the Royal Albert Hall we walked across ceremonially to The Boys from the Old Brigade. I associate it with the Chelsea Pensioners. I always looked up to them and used to watch it every time. It felt amazing to be part of it and an honour to represent them. I thought of my dad – I had a cross in my pocket, with his regimental badge on it. When I came to the Royal Hospital my daughter bought me a lovely rose bush – I asked a nice gentleman at the allotment who looks after the roses to plant it for me. Afterwards I put the cross just by the plant. It’s for my mum and dad. My mum didn’t serve but she still suffered with the bombings during the war and was there for the family.
I respect all the guys who served. A lot of them lost friends and brothers. I’m one of the lucky ones, because if my dad hadn’t come back I wouldn’t be here. He was one of the original Desert Rats at El Alamein and lost lots of his friends. I was very proud of him. I hope he would be proud of me now.
Remembrance is about honouring people – the freedom we’ve got today is thanks to them.