London Remembers WW1
6th September 2018
On the 1st of September the Chelsea Pensioners, in partnership with The Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association for Greater London, proudly led a military Parade down the King’s Road to commemorate Londoners who contributed to the war effort in World War One. They also exercised their Freedom of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea along with representatives of London’s Maritime Reserves, The Royal Yeomanry, The London Regiment, 600 Squadron RAuxAF and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry.
The Parade was particularly poignant for the Chelsea Pensioners as it marked the end of General Sir Redmond Watt's seven-year tenure as Governor of the Royal Hospital and was his final Parade. Members of the community showed their support by lining the streets waving flags and balloons as the Chelsea Pensioners passed down the King’s Road.
The Parade was followed by a Commemorative Drumhead Service attended by dignitaries from across the capital led by The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Lord Chartres KCVO.
After the Drumhead service there was an opportunity to relax and enjoy a family friendly event in the Royal Hospital’s Burton Court. 10 Youth Organisations were present and showed off their skills such as gymnastics and military drills within the arena to the delight of onlookers. Organisations such as the Royal British Legion, Never Such Innocence, STOLL and the National Army Museum had stands with interactive displays for the community to enjoy.
Chelsea Pensioner, Steve Lovelock was part of the Parade and said: "When I was marching down the King's Road, I felt really proud. The onlookers, the band playing, shoulders were back, the arms swinging and it was really a tremendous thrill. I haven't actually done anything like that for about 50 years. It's brought back very good memories."
Watch Steve's full interview and an overview of the event below.