You may have seen them on parade, on TV, at the Cenotaph or around the the streets of Chelsea, but who are - and why are they known as - the Chelsea Pensioners?

From 1692 until 1955, all Army pensions were administered by and paid from the Royal Hospital Chelsea, which is why all Army pensioners were often referred to as Chelsea Pensioners.

Those who lived 'Out', in the UK or abroad and received their pension in cash from agents around the country were known as Out-Pensioners. All records for Out-Pensioners are held by the National Archives at Kew.

Over time, the term Out-Pensioner fell out of common usage and, in more recent times, it's only those Pensioners who retire to and live within the Royal Hospital who are now offically known as Chelsea Pensioners. These eligible veterans of the British Army surrendered their Army Pension and were admitted as residents of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

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David Jackson an ex Army pilot shares his story
David Jackson an ex-Army pilot shares his story

David Jackson is the only Chelsea Pensioner who was a pilot in the Army. After serving in Aden, North Africa, Cyprus and the UK, he became a commercial pilot. All together, he has clocked up an impressive 20,000 flying hours! Here he shares some of the highs and lows of his airborne career.

Chelsea Pensioner George Parsons celebrates 100th Birthday
Chelsea Pensioner Celebrates his Centenary in Style

The Royal Hospital celebrated a rather special birthday today and welcomed the Revd Richard Coles to join in with the party atmosphere.  

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