We recently visited the Royal Hospital Chelsea with some students from St Marylebone CofE School, London to interview two Chelsea Pensioners.
The first interview we recorded was with Paddy Fox. In his entry Paddy recalls joining the 15th/19th King’s Royal Hussars when he was 17 years old and says that perhaps the most exciting moment in his Regimental history was when HM The Queen presented him with the British Empire Medal.
When Paddy was 68 years old he became a Chelsea Pensioner. Prior to that he had visited the Royal Hospital Chelsea in 1968 and there he met a Chelsea Pensioner who was 97 years old and who had joined Paddy’s own Regiment in 1892. This gentleman had drunk with men who had been in charge of the Charge of the Light Brigade (1854) and in turn Paddy drank with him. Paddy says “what a link with history, which is what this place is all about”.
Paddy goes on to say that the most exciting moment in Chelsea was when he became a pop star. Paddy recalls recording the Chelsea Pensioner’s debut album ‘Men in Scarlet’ which was released on 8th November 2010 with six other Pensioners. The album was recorded to raise money for the Chelsea Pensioners’ Appeal.
Paddy talks about the highlights of recording the album, which include visiting Pinewood Studios, meeting Katherine Jenkins, receiving a golden disc when the album sold over 200,000 copies and performing at the Royal Variety Performance
To view Paddy’s entry click here.
Our second interview was with Mr Kenneth Elgenia, a Chelsea Pensioner who served with the Parachute Regiment and the Special Air Service.
In his entry Kenneth recalls March 2010, when he sat down to write a poem reflecting on his childhood. Kenneth recites the poem entitle ‘Bath Tub Night’.
To view Kenneth’s entry click here.