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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Royal Hospital - Home of the Chelsea Pensioners

It just started to rain and not many pensioners were were stirring

There is a small museum in the Pensioners Hospital. The guard wanted to take my picture.

Few buildings last for 300 years - let alone being used continuously for one purpose. In 1682 - Charles II proposed buying at home for retired soldiers. Ever since then - men - and women since 2009 - have been living in the Royal Hospital in Chelsea.

The hospital has rooms and apartments for 400 pensioners. Presently there are only 250 living there. Applicants are usually widowers living on government pensions.

The grounds are beautiful and the buildings are in excellent condition. 

The men dress in uniform most of the of the time - dark navy blue wool for working - bright red coats for dress affairs. They are a proud bunch and feel like they are in an exclusive club.

This is a model of the Royal Hospital - built in 1682 - still serving as a home for pensioner soldiers

Margaret Thatcher has dementia now - but on the good days she often visits the pensioners at the Royal Hospital.

I have heard of places being named Bowling Green - but these pensioners are actually bowling on the green.

The grounds of the Royal Hospital are beautifully gardened

When the soldiers die - their medals are displayed here

The Margaret Thatcher  infirmary cares for the Pensioners. Her husband Dennis Thatcher is buried here

This is the grave of the first governor of the hospital - Sir Thomas Ogle. He died in 1702.

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