Glimpse history through fascinating old images of the Chelsea Pensioners in London.
Chelsea Pensioner 1947
It’s a great shame that the newsreel made in 1947 didn’t name the Chelsea pensioners shown, or say how old they were or where they served.
But it’s a nice look at how this version of old age living suited these men well.
Chelsea Pensioner Issue Title Is Pathe Pictorial Looks At Passing Of The Years (1947) – British Pathé on YouTube
Cheese and Wine 1965
Unfortunately only the name of one of the Chelsea Pensioners in this 1965 silent footage, Fred Shears, is known. He is the eldest Chelsea Pensioner in the Chelsea Hospital that year, and is seen cutting the cheese with his sword for the guests. The chef helps the frail Mr Shears.
The guests included Sir Gerald Templer, Lieutenant General Sir Frank Simpson and Lieutenant Colonel Valder Gates, who stand talking by the cheese.
Christmas Cheese Ceremony At Chelsea Hospital (1965) – British Pathé on YouTube
In the 1990s, two elderly Chelsea pensioners were filmed talking about some of their war experiences at the Battle of the Somme.
Both of them were there for the first day of the first week of the Battle of the Sommer, and remained for several days.
They sat in a recreated trench at the Imperial War Museum in London, laughing about eating grass. They talk about the noise of the ceaseless bombardment and then become more sombre as they describe how the bullets fell like rain and injured men were deliberately killed by enemy soldiers.
One of them says he has no idea whether the battle was a success or not, having never seen any report about it.
Unfortunately, the names of these two men is not recorded. Does anyone recognise their grandfather, perhaps?
World war 1 | Chelsea Pensioners | Battle of the Somme | Veterans | Thames news – Thames News on YouTube