England’s most senior nurse has appointed the lead on health and wellbeing for Chelsea Pensioners as her advisor on improving support for care home nurses.

On 16th January Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch and some of his team delivered a fascinating talk to a group of Chelsea Pensioners and staff members, including our Governor, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw.

This Christmas, we’re delighted to be sharing the Royal Hospital’s first-ever handmade advent calendar. From the photograph of the our colonnade – which forms the backdrop of the calendar – to the treasures hidden behind each door, every part of the calendar has been made by a Chelsea Pensioner. 

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.

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David Hinds - Self Portrait
Community, creativity and connection - Chelsea Pensioners and the Soldiers’ Arts Academy

The Soldiers’ Arts Academy links serving and veteran Army personnel and their families with professionals from the creative arts. Through a range of workshops, projects and productions they give participants the opportunity to discover new interests, recover from difficult experiences, transition into civilian life and even find new careers. 

Burial Grounds Thumb
Researching our old Burial Ground gives Chelsea Pensioners a new lease of life

The monuments in the old Burial Ground record Chelsea Pensioners who took part in famous battles, former Governors and other members of staff and their families – and famous figures from the Royal Hospital’s history.

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