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.

Alfred Mason, Durham Light Infantry (28 Commonwealth Brigade) remembers the conditions they were faced with during the conflict.

Chelsea Pensioner Roy Palmer, 81, talks about his time in isolation and the life experiences that have helped him to cope with the Royal Hospital’s restrictions during the pandemic. 

This year, the Royal Hospital held a slightly unusual Founder's Day Parade in order to observe social distancing. Although we were very sad our friends, supporters and Reviewing Officer HRH the Duchess of Cornwall could not be in attendance, the Chelsea Pensioners still managed to mark the day with true military spirit.

Following on from our scaled back Founder's Day last week, the most important event of the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s normally busy events schedule. The Governor, Pensioners and staff were sad not to be able to welcome Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall to this year’s Parade as Royal Reviewing Officer and have delivered the below message.

The historic Founder’s Day Parade is the most important event of the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s normally busy events schedule. Ordinarily the Hospital’s grounds team are busy tidying up following the thousands of visitors from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and following Founder’s Day, preparations would be underway for for the Live at Chelsea music concerts.

12 May is the International Day of the Nurse where people all over the world recognise the important role of nurses in their communities. On this day we also celebrate the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale. Nightingale is credited as being the founder of modern nursing.

Today, the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s South Grounds are famous for hosting the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show. However, the tradition of using our grounds for exhibitions began at the end of the 19th century.

Today, the historic grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea are enjoyed by Chelsea Pensioners and the visiting public alike. However, in the past, they have played host to some unusual and remarkable events.

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Paul Whittick
“When we’re out of lockdown, I’ll be ready!”

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.

Pensioners on parade for the Royal visit
“It’s a lovely day tomorrow”

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”.

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