Speaker Secretary Fred Knopp reports:
For our first meeting in 2020, we welcomed Brian Cumming MBE as our guest speaker to talk about the history and his life as a Chelsea Pensioner in the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Brian was very easy to listen to, and it was an interesting subject delivered with humour.
Briefly, the the history of the Hospital it was commissioned by King Charles 11 in 1682, and to be designed and built by Sir Christopher Wren. The building was completed in 1692 and in the succeeding years there has been many additions and alterations.
He was a career soldier and spent 33 years in the Royal Corps of Signals.
His involvement with the Royal Hospital came about by accident, his dear wife Pauline had died and his daughter asked him to join her in Australia which he was reluctant to do, when one day whilst walking he met a Chelsea Pensioner dressed in his Scarlet uniform he stopped, talked and was invited to visit which he did. Impressed by what he saw he applied, met all the criteria to be a member, over 65 and clean millitary record, after all why did he need a four bedroomed house.
He is now thoroughly involved in the life of a Chelsea Pensioner and has become an ambassador travelling far and wide raising money for charity.
His talk was well received and he answered many points that were raised.
He was introduced by our Chairman Barry Calder and a warm thank you was given by Neville Lyons.