The Chelsea Pensioners are preparing for Remembrance Day next week not just with traditional fundraising but also with a TV series following the largest modernisation of the Royal Hospital in its 300-year history.
The pensioners travelled to Normandy, sky-dived, played rock guitar, and took part in a celebrity dance-off with Strictly stars for the new documentary which is currently airing on Force TV Sundays at 8.30pm.
They are also selling poppies at Chelsea hotspots along King’s Road to fundraise for charities including West London Action for Children.
Chelsea Pensioner Charmaine said: “I wear my poppy to remember all those brave soldiers who died for peace.”
This year they will be escorted to Remembrance Sunday ceremonies by Poppy Cabs, who provide free taxis.
They will also be moving into their new digs at the world-famous hospital in the newly refurbished Long Wards complete with en-suite and study area.
This is the first time they will all have their own bedrooms in the wing designed by Sir Christopher Wren, whose masterpiece is St Paul’s Cathedral.
The Royal Hospital Chelsea opened in 1692 and provides a place for our nation’s heroes to battle loneliness in a truly fitting home.
Chelsea Pensioner Michael Allen said: “If you speak to most Chelsea pensioners quietly and ask ‘why did you come in here?’ loneliness will appear in there somewhere.
“Loneliness is a killer but here I have a purpose in my life – we all have a purpose.”
Around 300 pensioners live at the home, including those who served in World War Two, Korea, the Falklands and Northern Ireland.
Any former soldier of the British Army older than 65 who is facing elderly life alone can apply to live at the hospital.
If you would like to support our nation’s veterans this Remembrance Day, visit http://www.chelsea-pensioners.co.uk/donate
Picture courtesy of Peter Davies UK Ministry of Defence, with thanks