75 years has passed since the Japanese surrendered and World War II finally ended. Today we acknowledge the crucial part those soldiers in the Far East played in winning us the freedoms we enjoy today.

2020 marks the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan, or VJ, Day. On 15 August 1945, Imperial Japan surrendered, effectively bringing the conflict to an end. To commemorate this significant year in the legacy of the Second World War, we have explored our collections and the stories behind some of the artefacts that relate to war with Japan.

The Royal Hospital was honoured to receive a visit from Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall last week. Her Royal Highness was originally due to visit on Founder's Day as the Reviewing Officer, but was not able to attend due to Coronavirus restrictions.

On Tuesday 23rd June, Chelsea Pensioners – at a distance – were treated to the sunshine and spectacle of the King’s Royal Hussars on parade at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Pensioner William Fraser BEM is taking lockdown in his stride and enjoying a relaxed routine – although he misses a drink in the Club with his friends.

On a day when the Chelsea Pensioners would traditionally be on parade with over 1,000 service men and women in Salisbury to celebrate Armed Forces Day, this year has seen a very different celebration of this important event.

Celebrated singer, Peter Straker, Friend to Freddie Mercury, David Bowie -and the Chelsea Pensioners records The White Cliffs of Dover to raise funds for the Royal Hospital.

 

Colin was 20 years old when he was deployed –the youngest in the observation post Party he served in. He still suffers from the frostbite he got while cut off by the Chinese.

Gerry Farmer, 1951 Royal Fusiliers, lost his friend Cpl Derby in the conflict. He was left with shrapnel in his spine and lifelong claustrophobia, after being trapped in a Jeep at the bottom of a river while trying to escape Chinese mortars.

Arthur Bisson, Royal Military Police, was demobbed in 1947, then called up again to go to Korea in 1950. He served there for eight months in total.

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Two Chelsea Pensioners opening the gate to the Soane Stable Yard
Royal Hospital Chelsea joins the Chelsea Heritage Quarter and Chelsea History Festival this September with special previews of the Soane Stable Yard

We are delighted to announce that the Royal Hospital Chelsea will be part of the Chelsea History Festival once again this year, from Wednesday 25 to Sunday 29 September 2024 and part of the new Chelsea Heritage Quarter – London’s new heritage destination. 

King's Birthday Honours 2024
Royal Hospital Model of Care recognised in two awards at King’s Birthday Honours

The Royal Hospital Chelsea’s model of care for older veterans has been recognised through awards for two members of staff in The King's Birthday Honours list this year.