Carabiniers remembered at Kimberly Gate, Chelsea

  • 0

Carabiniers remembered at Kimberly Gate, Chelsea

LONDON – On Sunday 2 December the South African Legion England Branch once again joined the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Association for an Observance at the Carabiniers Memorial, Chelsea.

The memorial remembers the fallen of the 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers) who gave their lives during the South African War 1899 – 1902 (Second Anglo-Boer War). The Carabiniers were part of the cavalry division under Major-General Sir JDP French which led the charge through Boer General Piet Cronje’s lines to relieve the siege of Kimberley on 15 February 1900.

It is because of this connection that the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Association welcome the presence of the South African Legion at their annual Observance. Following a short service, wreaths were laid by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys), the South African Legion and the Moths of Gazala Shellhole.

We then adjourned to the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, for a service in the magnificent Wren Chapel followed by drinks and a traditional curry lunch in the Chelsea Pensioners Club. The sense of history was palpable inside this famous home of the Chelsea Pensioners which has cared for British Army veterans since 1692. It was an honour to rub shoulders with these grand old men and women in their distinctive red frock coats and a day to remember for all.

Text by Lgr Tony Povey
Photography by Lgr Theo Fernandes (full picture gallery below)

© 2018 SA Legion UK & Europe All Rights Reserved


  • -

Founders Day 2017 – The Royal Hospital Chelsea

Founders Day – The Royal Hospital Chelsea

After his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651 which ended his attempt to regain the English Crown following the execution of his father, Charles II was hidden from the searching Roundheads of Oliver Cromwell in an oak tree in the grounds of Boscobel House by Colonel William Careless. This day is remembered in English Tradition as Oak Apple Day and the Royal Oak is a popular pub name to this day. After the Restoration in 1660, Charles II made Colonel Careless a Gentleman of the Privy Council and granted him the new name of Carlos which is Spanish for Charles. A gilded statue of Charles II, by Grinling Gibbons in 1676, stands in the centre of Figure Court at the Royal Hospital. It is engraved in honour of Colonel William Carlos with the words, ‘Soldier in the Civil War, protector of King Charles II at Boscobel after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. God, by the overshadowing of an oak, did preserve our Royal founder from the hands of his enemies’.

In 1681, Charles II issued a Royal Warrant authorising the building of the Royal Hospital Chelsea to ‘care for those broken by age or war’. This was modelled on the ‘Hotel des Invalids’ in Paris and was finished and opened after his death in 1692 with 476 inmates. Today with modernised accommodation it is able to house 327 Chelsea In-Pensioners and is currently home to just under 300 of these Military Veterans, the oldest being 102 and the youngest 67. To be admitted, the requirements are to be a former NCO or soldier in the British Army with either an Army Service or War Disability Pension which must be surrendered to the hospital, or to be the recipient of the Victoria Cross or George Cross. Applicants must have no dependents and be able to self-care and live in one of the Long wards. Officers are eligible provided they have served at least 12 years in the ranks before being commissioned. There is an Infirmary for In-Pensioners who become unable to look after themselves. The value of surrendered pensions is insufficient to cover the cost per pensioner so the hospital is supported by ‘Grant-in-Aid’ from the Ministry of Defence. The In-Pensioners’ familiar and iconic red tunics are worn inside the hospital and on ceremonial occasions, while a blue tunic is worn when the pensioners are outside the hospital precincts. They also now admit female soldiers as In-Pensioners.

Every year, Founders Day at the Royal Hospital is celebrated with all Chelsea Pensioners who are able to do so, on parade. The day gives them the opportunity to invite family and friends to an open day. Through the good offices of John Rochester, Heritage Manager at the Royal Hospital, SA Legion were offered tickets and Legionnaires Claudio Chistè and Tony Povey joined the 3500 invited guests at the parade and review by the His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex.

 

The day started with the band of the Irish Guards playing in Figure Court at the heart of the Royal Hospital followed by the parade of the In-Pensioners. The Parade Sergeant Major handed over the Parade to the Parade Commander and the Sovereign’s Mace was marched onto Parade. The Mace was presented to the Hospital in 2002 as, prior to this, it had no colours. The bowl of the Mace is decorated with acorns to reflect the events of Oak Apple Day.

The Pensioners were formed up into four Guards with those less mobile seated behind them. They were then inspected by His Royal Highness the Duke of Wessex, Honorary Colonel in ‘A’ (London Scottish) Company of the London Regiment, who took the time to address many of the Veterans on Parade. After this the In-Pensioners marched past by Guards and reformed opposite the Saluting Point.

His Royal Highness addressed the Parade with a  response by the Governor, General Sir Redmond Watt, who then called for three cheers for ‘Our pious Founder’, three cheers for Her Majesty the Queen and finally three cheers for His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex. A Fanfare was sounded by the members of the Band of the Irish Guards who were positioned along the roof of the colonnade and following the National Anthem, the Saluting Party departed and the Pensioners were dismissed.

We managed to arrange a photo op with a Lance Bombardier and a Trooper of Kings Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, who are the Queen’s ceremonial Saluting Battery before retiring to the marquee for some well-earned refreshment and a chance to buy Quartermaster Sergeant John Rochester a welcome beer.

A perfect example of pomp and circumstance as only the British can do it and a privilege to attend.

 

Lgr Tony Povey


  • -

SA Legion Shield Award at Royal Hospital Chelsea

Shield Award

After attending the Carabiniers Boer War commemoration there was socialising with the resident Chelsea pensioners, and the opportunity to present John Rochester, Heritage Manager of Royal Hospital Chelsea, with the coveted SA Legion shield. John has been a strong supporter of our cause since day one, who himself was inspired by the strong historic link South Africans have with the hospital.

It is rather fitting that a close relationship with the Royal Hospital Chelsea has been established – playing a pivotal role in the birth of the SA Legion UK – as this was the very venue which saw the laying up of the last South African veterans associations from the Great War, as they were handed over for safe-keeping by the last remaining survivors.


  • -

Carabinier Boer War Remembrance 2016

The remembrance service with the South African Legion and the Royal Scots Dragoons was hosted by the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

The annual participation of the SA Legion in the Carabinier Boer War Remembrance day has become institution for the Legion in recent years, with continued participation ever since first being invited 4 years ago.

 

(Article by Claudio Chiste’ and images by Theo Fernandes)


Search this Site

Next Event

Dec
16
Sun
2018
13:00 SA Legion England Branch Christm... @ RBL Club Teddington
SA Legion England Branch Christm... @ RBL Club Teddington
Dec 16 @ 13:00 – 21:59
SA Legion England Branch Christmas Skouerskuur @ RBL Club Teddington | England | United Kingdom
  South African Legion England Branch and 61 Mech Social at the RBL Club Teddington.
Feb
16
Sat
2019
12:00 England Branch Q1 Committee Meet... @ RBL Club Teddington
England Branch Q1 Committee Meet... @ RBL Club Teddington
Feb 16 @ 12:00 – 13:30
England Branch Q1 Committee Meeting and Social @ RBL Club Teddington
Meeting and Social – 135 High St, Teddington TW11 8HH Purpose: All Branch members are invited to contribute in providing suggestions/feedback, or just listen to the quarterly update. Final event planning will also take place for
Feb
23
Sat
2019
09:30 Three Ships Parade @ Richmond Cenotaph
Three Ships Parade @ Richmond Cenotaph
Feb 23 @ 09:30 – 12:00
Three Ships Parade @ Richmond Cenotaph
Purpose: We remember all this South African navy ships lost at sea through the ages, starting from chronological order: WW1: SS Mendi, which lead to 616 South Africans and 30 crew who lost their lives at sea,

Shopping Cart

Your shopping cart is empty
Visit the shop