To mark International Women’s Day, Matron Jayne Cumming RRC, who left the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel talks about her military nursing career. 

To mark International Women’s Day, we celebrate two female Chelsea Pensioners who challenged stereotypes in the Army and beyond. 

February has seen snow in much of the country, including here at the Royal Hospital. Our Grounds Manager, Ric Glenn, explains the impact of the weather and shares the first signs of spring. 

On Thursday 4, The Royal Hospital was proud to add its name to the growing list of organisations which have signed the Armed Forces Covenant. The signing took place during a virtual ceremony between The Governor, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw KCB OBE DL and the Rt. Hon Johnny Mercer MP, Minister for Defence People and Veterans.

Chelsea Pensioner Paul Whittick, who served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, has always been keen on keeping fit. In the light of lockdown, he says staying physically and mentally active is more important than ever.

The pandemic has meant it’s been a very difficult year for us all. The Chelsea Pensioners are no exception and have missed getting out and about. Nevertheless, they’ve put a brave face on it and, as one Chelsea Pensioner puts it, “the banter continues”.

We are delighted to be able to share an exclusive opportunity to join the Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea for the 2020 Christmas Carol service, which this year has been recorded to allow our friends and supporters to enjoy the concert from the safety and comfort of their home.

Today the Chelsea Pensioners had an early Christmas present delivered from the NHS in the administration of the Pfizer vaccine.

Senior staff nurse Gail St Juste Alcide says that the dementia ward’s Christmas celebrations will be as joyful as ever, despite the pandemic. 

The Christmas Cake Ceremony has been a tradition for over 70 years, beginning in 1949, and is a symbol of the enduring friendship between the UK and Australia.

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Pensioners holding a Christmas wreath outside
Festive thoughts from the Chelsea Pensioners

Christmas is almost here and although life is still far from normal the Chelsea Pensioners are enjoying being part of our community at this special time. We are celebrating in many of the traditional ways at the Royal Hospital – while ensuring guidelines are followed and the Chelsea Pensioners stay as safe as possible. 

Stirring of the Christmas Pudding Ceremony 2021
Festive fun at the stirring of the Christmas Pudding ceremony

Chelsea Pensioners and staff gathered together in the Great Hall on the last day of November to usher in the start of Advent with the first of the Royal Hospital’s annual Christmas traditions. 

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