Visit to the Royal Hospital Chelsea – 25th July 2019

One of the groups with Pensioner William Allen
One of the groups with Pensioner William Allen

On 25th July thirty-two Guild members including The Master, Freemen, and guests were very glad we ventured to Chelsea despite it being the hottest day ever recorded and chaos on the railways for a fascinating visit to the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

We met up over lunch in the modern and luckily, air-conditioned restaurant of the National Army Museum. New members were able to meet and chat with more established Freemen over a delicious lunch. I can highly recommend the cakes!

We then walked next door to meet Michael and John, two of the 300 Chelsea Pensioners. They were wearing their blue uniforms as it was far too warm to wear their iconic scarlet coats. They divided us into two groups so they could show us around their home in the stunning Sir Christopher Wren buildings. The highlights included their dining room in The Great Hall, The Chapel and Figure Court. They amused us with their entertaining tales, giving us a real insight into the life of a Chelsea Pensioner. The 90 minute tour ended at the museum and shop.

A big thank you to Hilary Andrews for arranging the visit on our behalf, who unfortunately could not attend on the day.

Jane Burch

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