Discover the Danger Tree augmented reality experience

4th October 2018

Jack the Lad Painting
The Chelsea Pensioners recently partnered with the creators of the critically acclaimed “Danger Tree” project, Scarlett Raven & Marc Marot, to create a new augmented reality artwork which was unveiled as part of a commemorative event to honour all Londoners who were impacted by WWI.

Paint, digital art and poetry intersect to tell an immersive story of ‘Jack the Lad’ – a WWI soldier from London who survived the War and won a VC for bravery. 

Using the augmented reality app, Artivive, viewers need simply to hold their device up to the picture to watch the painting, by impressionist action painter Scarlett Raven, come alive with a film by digital artist Marc Marot, featuring layer upon layer of animation, archive material and music. Robert Laurence Binyon’s famous war poem, “For the Fallen” is recited by Chelsea Pensioner Bill Gorrie during the film. 

The Danger Tree Project
The painting was recently displayed as part of London Remembers WWI - a community event hosted by The Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Greater London. The event, held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s Burton Court, followed a Military Parade down the King’s Road featuring 100 Chelsea Pensioners and other Military Units.

Artist Scarlett Raven said: “it’s an honour to be involved in this very special event and to have been able to work creatively with the Chelsea Pensioners. I’m inviting people to view painting in a completely different way and I hope they will engage with the art beyond the canvas.”

Co-Creator Marc Marot said: “my inspiration for the painting came from remembering the stories from my grandfather by marriage, Eddie Bigwood, who, like Private Jack Hawkins VC, fought throughout the entire four years of WW1. Like Jack, he survived the war but lost most of his friends and comrades. The poem “For the Fallen”, beautifully read by Bill Gorrie, perfectly encapsulates the lament Eddie had for his friends and I’m sure Jack Hawkins had too.”

Chelsea Pensioner Bill Gorrie said of the project: “it’s absolutely amazing what Scarlett and Marc have created. I was so moved the first time I saw it – it made the hairs rise on the back of my neck. It’s a very emotive piece of multi-media and I am immensely proud to be part of it. As I’m not able to march down the King’s Road with my fellow Chelsea Pensioners, it is wonderful that I can be involved in the day in a meaningful way.”

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View the archive

Brompton Cemetery Seed Sowing
Sowing wildflowers in memory of past Chelsea Pensioners

On 6 May, Chelsea Pensioners and members of the Royal Hospital’s grounds team joined representatives from the Royal Parks, the Royal Parks Guild and the Friends of Brompton Cemetery to sow a patch of wildflower seeds in Brompton Cemetery as part of the Battlefields and Butterflies initiative.

Chelsea Pensioner Centenarians
100 years old and still going strong

Recent research backs up the anecdote that Chelsea Pensioners not only live considerably longer than their peers outside (by over five years, on average), but that their lifetimes once they come to the Royal Hospital are extending, year on year. This strongly suggests that the care and community here contribute to greater longevity – as well as improving quality of life. 


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