On Friday 7 September 2018 members of various Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs were invited to attend breakfast at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in the esteemed company of the Chelsea Pensioners and the Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson MP.
30 members of the various clubs from Hatfield & Welwyn GC, Uxbridge, Luton & District, Portsmouth, Stafford, Oakham, Basildon, Clacton, Swindon/Chippenham, Isle of Wight, Islington, Southend, and Littlehampton were in attendance and I would like to thank them for attending on the day. It was a great success.
The morning began with a slight rush by me having been escorted in the wrong direction by members whose club shall remain nameless (it rhymes with Smuxbridge) and I was a little late. We all slipped in relatively unnoticed and were provided with a well earned cup of tea. After a short time members were escorted to the Great Hall for a sumptuous breakfast and waited upon very kindly by the staff at the RHC. The tables were full of chatter and laughter having strategically placed Chelsea Pensioners on each table. After breakfast finished the Secretary of State moved to different tables to chat to the various Veterans about various issues.
Once the Secretary of State had left the Great Hall, our members were taken on a grand tour of the hospital which was highly entertaining throughout with the never diminishing sense of humour of the British Army still holding strong.
Once the tour was finished and we thanked our host for kindly showing us around, several members of the breakfast clubs decided the last tour should end in the Chelsea Pensioners bar, and to pinch a phrase I’ve seen on the social media pages, ‘we didn’t want to leave and they didn’t want us to leave either’.
Out of this very enjoyable day will hopefully be firmly forged friendships with the Chelsea Pensioners and members of the local breakfast clubs in London and the surrounding areas and perhaps one of their very own AFVBCs (watch this space).
By Elaine Forman
Hatfield & Welwyn GC AFVBC