Monday, 20 May 2024
Monday, 20 May 2024

Chelsea Pensioners host little troopers for Month of the Military Child

THE Chelsea Pensioners welcomed 15 children, whose parents all currently serve in the British Armed Forces, to a special event to celebrate the Month of the Military Child.

The Royal Hospital Chelsea partnered with the military children’s charity, Little Troopers, to organise the intergenerational event, which bridged the gap between young and old generations of the British Armed Forces community.

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the Hospital’s Soane Stable Yard Project to open up the heritage of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the children and Pensioners exchanged stories about military life and gained an understanding of each other’s unique experiences. The Pensioners, who all served in the British Army, took great pleasure in touring the children around the Hospital grounds and explaining the centuries of history behind the Royal Hospital. The group also decorated miniature Pensioners’ Tricorne hats with dandelions – the official flower of the military child – symbolising the strength and resilience of military children who often have to move home and school due to their serving parent’s career, as well as spending extended periods separated from their parent due to overseas deployments and other military commitments.

Chelsea Pensioners host little troopers for Month of the Military Child

Sir Adrian Bradshaw, Governor of the Royal Hospital said:

“We relish the opportunity to share our rich history and heritage with younger generations. Bringing children and Chelsea Pensioners together to discuss the history of this institution, and to share experiences between generations, helps the young put today’s events and way of life in the context of the past, and perhaps will help them to make better judgements for the future. It’s also fun, and resonates particularly with children from military families who already have an understanding of what life in the Armed Services entails.”

Keavie (age 7), commented:

“I had a wonderful time with the Chelsea Pensioners and especially loved talking to John! He was so nice to me and told me lots of interesting things about his life. He had been to places my Daddy has been to!”

Bea (age 6), added:

“One of the Pensioners talked about how being brave is doing something even though you’re a bit scared, like when we had to move and I had to start my new school. That was me being brave.”

The day was one of several events that the charity Little Troopers has organised to celebrate the Month of the Military Child.

Louise Fetigan, founder of the charity, Little Troopers, explained:

“There are tens of thousands of children in the UK whose parents serve in the British Armed Forces and the Month of the Military Child is about recognising the unique experiences these children go through as they grow up in the forces community. This was a wonderful opportunity to connect military children with some of the iconic Chelsea Pensioners and understand just how much these two generations have in common.”

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