The Chelsea Pensioners were devastated to hear that last night, corporate partners John D Wood & Co. had their Lower Sloane Street branch broken into and the contents of the collection bucket were stolen.

Today Chelsea Pensioners, Royal Hospital staff and local school children took part in a Drumhead Service ahead of Remembrance Sunday this weekend.

The Royal Hospital Chelsea joined with the Royal Parks at Brompton Cemetery on Wednesday, as part of the 2018 armistice commemorations, to dedicate a recently refurbished memorial in tribute to the 2,625 Pensioners buried in the cemetary.

With a father who served and two uncles who perished on the battlefields, the First World War had a profound effect on Chelsea Pensioner, Don Crassweller’s family.

Edmund Joseph Buisseret – the father of Chelsea Pensioner, Simon De Buisseret – had just joined a monastery in the sleepy town of Hereford, when the First World War broke out. His two older brothers joined the chaplaincy, but as Edmund was only a novice, he joined the Royal Garrison Artillery and was immediately uprooted from his quiet existence as a prospective monk and sent to the Somme.

Chelsea Pensioner Patrick Moir only learnt of his father’s experiences in the First World War when he reached the age of 85; his father had been called up to serve in 1917 when he was a young lad of 19.

Chelsea Pensioner, Steve Lovelock, lost his father in the Second World War, leaving his young mother with the difficult task of bringing up a small child alone. Unable to cope with the pressures of single parenthood, Steve’s grandparents stepped in to care for the young child.

The Chelsea Pensioners enjoyed a musical performance at the Royal Hospital Chelsea today as The Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment performed a mini concert in Figure Court.

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.

Chelsea Pensioner Jim Little completed a stomach-churning ride in a TR9 Spitfire, originally built in 1944, in memory of his brother who was an RAF spitfire pilot in the latter stages of the Second World War. Jim's brother was only 17 years of age when he joined up in 1941.

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Chelsea Pensioner pictured Dairy UK Chair Paul Vernon, the Governor of the Royal Hospital and the ceremonial cheese
Chelsea Pensioners and Dairy UK take part in the annual Ceremony of the Christmas Cheeses

A festive tradition dating back to the opening of the Royal Hospital in 1692 – today Dairy UK donated over 270kg of British cheeses to the Chelsea Pensioners to tide them over the festive period.

Christmas Pudding
Festivities begin with the stirring of the Christmas Pudding

The Christmas period officially got underway today at the Royal Hospital, as the Chelsea Pensioners took part in the tradition of stirring in the ingredients for the Christmas pudding.

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