Chelsea's Scarlet Army: New documentary on the Chelsea Pensioners to air on Forces TV

28th September 2015

A new documentary series capturing a unique behind the scenes look at the Royal Hospital Chelsea is currently airing on Forces TV (Sky 264, Virgin 244, Freesat 652) on Sundays at 8.30pm.

The six part documentary series Chelsea’s Scarlet Army: The Inside Story of the Chelsea Pensioners was filmed over a year, capturing both daily life and the big events held at the Royal Hospital.

Narrated by actress Caroline Quentin, the audience will learn how important the Royal Hospital has been to transforming the lives of retired soldiers. Chelsea Pensioner Michael Allen is filmed saying: “If you speak to most Chelsea pensioners quietly and ask why did you come in here, loneliness will appear in there somewhere. Loneliness is a killer but here I have a purpose in my life. We all have a purpose.”

Chelsea’s Scarlet Army also shows how the Royal Hospital enables Pensioners to live their lives to the full, showing them taking part in activities ranging from skydiving to playing rock guitar, competing in the gym with today’s injured soldiers, to a celebrity dance off with the stars of Strictly Come Dancing.

Chelsea Pensioners also share their memories of serving in the Army during World War Two and campaigns including Korea and Northern Ireland.

General Sir Redmond Watt, Governor of The Royal Hospital Chelsea, said: “This documentary series tells the stories of some of our most remarkable Chelsea Pensioners and has truly captured the essence of the Royal Hospital's community; from the comradeship of the pensioners to the commitment of our staff to help them live their lives to the full. It has also followed the largest modernisation of the Royal Hospital in its history, ensuring we are now ready to receive the next generation of veterans.”

For more information about Forces TV visit their website. Chelsea’s Scarlet Army is currently airing on Forces TV (Sky 264, Virgin 244, Freesat 652) on Sundays at 8.30pm.

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View the archive

Chelsea Pensioner, John Riley (86) on combatting loneliness

According to Government figures, around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month. John experienced intense loneliness when his wife passed away and tells us how he learnt to overcome his feelings of social isolation. 

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