World War Two veteran’s dream to meet Chelsea Pensioners comes true

4 June 2015

We've helped fulfill a World War Two veteran’s dream to meet with the famous Chelsea Pensioners at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

Leonard Findley, 87, was a private in the Royal Army Service Corps during World War Two. He's been supported at Randall Close Resource Centre since July 2014.

‘When Len told me his story, and how he had always wanted to visit the Chelsea Pensioners, I rang the Royal Hospital to see if they could help. The day could not have got better.’ — William J Gallagher, Service Manager at Randall Close

Len visited the Royal Hospital Chelsea last Friday accompanied by his son, Malcolm. He was shown around the premises by Major Phil Shannon, Captain of Invalids — a title given to the officer who looks after the pensioners’ welfare.

The major gave Mr Findley a personal tour followed by lunch in the grand dining room.

Leonard Findley with Staff Sergeant William Gorrie, Major Phil Shannon and Sergeant Arthur Bisson

‘It was super great day. I immediately felt at home among so many old soldiers. I have enjoyed the day more than I could ever have imagined.’ — Leonard Findley

Along the way, Mr Findley met many Chelsea Pensioners, some of whom had also served in his regiment. Mr Findley also had a chance to enjoy the world famous gardens.

‘I was thrilled to facilitate the trip. It was such a pleasure to see the sheer enjoyment written over Leonard’s face on meeting some of the Chelsea Pensioners.’ — Major Shannon

Leonard Findley with Major ShannonWilliam Gallagher said he believed it's important to understand the personal histories of those who use Randall Close. He added that Leonard Cheshire Disability is keen to foster closer ties with hospital, and will be inviting Chelsea Pensioners to visit Randall Close in the coming months.

If you'd like to support disabled people, volunteer at a service near you.

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