Christmas is a time for celebration. However, it can also highlight feelings of sadness and loss. Our wonderful care team do their utmost to support Pensioners, whatever their needs, during the festive season.

Today we welcomed HM Paymaster General, Oliver Dowden CBE, to the Royal Hospital to meet the Chelsea Pensioners in his role as an Ex-officio Commissioner.

As we look ahead to the upcoming festive holidays, we caught up with some of the Chelsea Pensioners who have been sharing their memories of Christmas past.

Pat McGurk joined the Army at 17 and never looked back. As a driver in the Royal Corps of Transport, he worked with close protection and the SAS, before driving dignitaries, VIPs and royalty. 

Chelsea Pensioner Dewi Treharne served for 27 years in the British Army. During that time, he was posted all over the world and grew particularly attached to Germany, where he spent 15 years of his military career. 

The Royal Hospital’s weekly pottery club, run by Emily Hall, is very popular with the Pensioners – particularly at this time of year, as they plan their festive projects. 

The International Churchill society recognises the Chelsea Pensioner veterans of World War II and the leadership of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

As we remember those who lost their lives in the line of duty, some of our Chelsea Pensioners, who served in World War II, share their own thoughts and memories of wartime losses. 

Chelsea Pensioners get involved with a host of remembrance events across the UK and overseas. This year, Pensioners are representing us at locations from Blackheath to Bahrain, Pontefract to Paris.

With a history that goes back more than 300 years, it’s not surprising that there have been various reports of ghostly goings-on at the Royal Hospital. To mark Halloween, we’re sharing some of them with you.

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Pensioner Leo Tighe sitting on a bench on the Royal Hospital's colonnade
Royal Hospital in the news

The Royal Hospital welcomed BBC's Defence Correspondent Johnathan Beale to see what life is like for the pensioners under these new restrictions and speak with the Hospital's Governor, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw.

Wren Chapel at the Royal Hospital with table at entrance with hand sanitizer
A shared purpose at the Royal Hospital

Healthcare systems in countries around the world are facing a considerable challenge in their Coronavirus preparation and response. The increased risk to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions is putting pressure on organisations which have a primary focus on caring for older people.

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