Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Fascinating Lives of Chelsea Pensioners

Our Chelsea Pensioners have led fascinating lives - both during their service in the Army and in their lives on 'Civvy Street'. From time to time we will be posting some of their stories here, giving an amazing insight into the past.

James Fellows in Antarctica
Upon leaving the Army, Chelsea Pensioner James Fellows was looking for something to do. In 1955 he joined the 'Falklands Islands Dependencies Survey Expedition' who sent teams to the Antarctic to maintain a continued presence and to establish new research bases from which to extend the research and mapping of the UK's territories of Antarctica.

James was stationed on Deception Island. Their work on the island in the Summer involved maintaining a schedule of Meteorological observations, and once the penguins returned for nesting they started the long job of 'ringing' all of the penguins for research purposes.

The girls from the Windmill Theatre in London had committed to write to each of the team during their stay in Antarctica and this remained one of their main contacts with civilisation during their time here.

Just before the time came to leave Deception Island, the team had a visit from the Duke of Edinburgh aboard the Brittania. They entertained him to a Seal Steak and Penguin Egg lunch which was the main food for the team during their posting.

The second year was spent on 'Horseshoe Island' where they would only have radio contact with the outside world.

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