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A MELKSHAM man is celebrating after his successful application to join the world famous Chelsea Pensioners.
John Pemberton is to leave his home in Kennet Close, Melksham, to become one of the ‘Men of Scarlet’.
The Chelsea Pensioners, known all over the world for their distinctive red uniform, live in the Royal Hospital Chelsea, a retirement home for former members of the Army. Sitting in 66 acre grounds, it was founded in 1682 by King Charles II and designed by Sir Christopher Wren.
“It’s a fantastic honour to become a Chelsea Pensioner,” said John. “It’s a wonderful life, living with like-minded people in one of the most beautiful buildings in the country.
“There’s a chance to do many exciting things and visit interesting places with a full programme of social activities. Chelsea Pensioners are regularly invited to attend many high profile events such as Wimbledon, Chelsea Football Club and, of course, are always seen at the Remembrance Day Parade in London.
“It’s a busy lifestyle and I will be proud to have a chance to wear the famous red uniform. I’ve loved living in Melksham and will be sad to say goodbye but this has been in the back of my mind for a long time, since I lost my wife.”
To be considered for admission, candidates must have served for at least 12 years in the Army and have no partner or family in need of their support.
John served 22 years in the Royal Artillery before joining Qinetiq, one of the world’s leading defence technology and security companies.