Friday, 4 July 2014

A trip down memory lane

This week 12 Chelsea Pensioners visited the Lydd Ranges in Kent.  Captain of Invalids Lt Col Rupert Lucas accompanied them.

‘As a Captain of Invalids I oversee the welfare of Chelsea Pensioners, helping them with everything from health needs to finance.

‘One of the most enjoyable parts of my role is accompanying the Pensioners on visits, whether it be for ceremonial occasions, fundraisers or military events.

‘On Wednesday 12 Chelsea Pensioners were invited to visit Lydd Ranges, a military firing range near Romney.  We were hosted by Majors Rick Beven, the Senior Range Safety Officer, and Pat O’Reilly who runs the ranges and has been there for 23 years.

Chelsea Pensioners with Majors Rick Bevan and Pat O'Reilly

‘Soldiers of the Grenadier Guards and Welsh Guards were training there and we were lucky enough to spend part of the day talking with them.

‘Chelsea Pensioners Skippy Teasdale, Alan Collins and Jo Shorthall were introduced to the SA 80 Rifles, and Alan Goddard also got an opportunity to meet members of his old Regiment.

Chelsea Pensioner Alan Goddard with his old Regiment 

‘We then went to the Individual Battle Shooting Range where we watched soldiers from the Welsh Guards conduct field firing training before joining them for a delicious Range Stew Lunch.

‘Pensioner Barbara Whilds especially enjoyed the visit and said it was such a wonderful opportunity to see the regular army conducting operation training.

‘For Pensioner Steve Lovelock, who in the 1960s had lived near the Hythe Ranges, it was a trip down memory lane – he was shown his old house by non-other than the Mayor of Hythe!  

The delicious Range Stew lunch

‘The Royal Hospital Chelsea would like to thank everyone involved in making the Pensioners’ trip to Lydd Ranges such an enjoyable one.’

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