Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Here come the girls ......

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a number of years ,will remember when I went to Portcullis house ,in London for an award ceremony for people involved in promoting the internet for the older members of our society ',Silver Surfers ',I went with Karen who was then our Resident inclusion manager .We spent a lovely morning wandering up Whitehall taking pictures and seeing the sights .After lunch, Karen and I went to the meeting at Portcullis House ,for the ceremony ,we knew I hadnt won but it was so nice to see those that had ,and hear about their work in this sphere ,gave us lots of ideas too ,during the networking and coffee tea break we met this charming Chelsea Pensioner who was only to happy to have his picture taken with me ,

So I was interested in the announcement last year when I learned that Ladies were to be allowed to live at The Royal Hospital at Chelsea ,for retired service personnel .(this happened almost a year ago and I have been meaning to blog about it ,since then ! Ah well better late than never !)
'The First Women to join the ranks of the Chelsea pensioners have been welcomed with a ceremony'
Dorothy Hughes 85,from Oxford,who was a gunner and Winifred Phillips 82 who is from Deal in Kent was a former Auxiliary service member.
They will live along side 300 men at the Royal Chelsea hospital and wear the red coat .
General Lord Walker said it was " an historic event ".
The decision to open up the membership ,reflects the growing number of Women who have joined the Army since the 1950s
Ms Phillips who served in the Army for 22 years said she raised the question of why women were not allowed to become members a decade ago ,
Now she has seen her wish come true .
"When I was living in Shropshire 10 years ago I read a magazine article called the legion and it said they wanted more men ,so I wrote back and said ! why not Women".
They wrote back saying they agreed ,but it has taken me ten years to get here .
Declaring! "I like men",she added ; "its been fabulous.Its just like the Amy all over again,but you dont have so much to do ".
The new pensioners will wear specially adapted scarlet coats while off site and blue tunics when on it .
Like the male veterans they must also meet the criteria of being over sixty five,free of a dependant spouse and in receipt of an army pension.
There is also talk of designing an official handbag .....






I think its fair to say these Gentlemen think its a good idea !

These Ladies took part in the Royal British Legion ,Festival of Remembrance service last November ,at the Royal Albert Hall in front of The Queen and others members of the Royal Family ....
I hope you enjoyed the story, as much as I did in reseaching it ,history in the making ....
As ever lots of love
Jan xx

16 comments:

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I did enjoy reading about the lovely ladies and their red coats. The men are lovely too, but I agree why not women. They have served their country just as much as the men. The SMILES on all their faces tell the tale for sure.

Jeanie said...

I watched a programme on TV about this Jan and it was really eye opening.
I see no reason for women not to become A Pensioner as they served our country in many different ways during the war.
Hurrah for them!
Loved to read your rendition Jan.
Hugs
Jeanie xxx

Ally Lifewithally said...

Dear Jan what a lovely entry I found it really interesting ~ and I loved the picture of the two ladies in their red coats they do look very smart ~ Ally x

Kath said...

I remember you writing about this beforehand Jan and I loved the pictures then and still do.Women deserve the same honours as men any day whatever they do,especially serving their country,in my opinion.Thanx for sharing this story very interesting.I can somehow picture you looking so smart in one of those outfits Jan,just like you do in anything you wear.You should have asked the pensioner in the picture with you, if you could have tried his coat on for your picture taking he-he.Great post.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

nancy said...

Look like you had a good time. Love the photo of you and the Pensioner. i love the old building behind yuu. Have GOOD week. Nancy

Sybil said...

Thank you for getting back to us, we miss you when you are absent...I was interested to see the ladies who have now joined the Chelsea Pensioners.. A member of our church and our Parish Chairman was responsible for the upkeep and alterations to the "hospital" prior to the ladies being admitted, Once he gave a talk to us at guild all about it and he wasn't sure if the ladies woudl ever be admitted due to so many alterations having to be made. The rooms the men stayed in were tiny..
Much Love Sybil xx

Angie said...

Let's hope there will soon be more ladies at the RH.

mortonlake said...

hi jan,jusy popping in to say great post.tc love mort x

Sara said...

I did enjoy reading this entry Jan, and the pictures are great, don't they all look smart in their red coats and sparkling medals :o) The two ladies do look very proud, and rightly so! Thank you m'dear.
xxx

Jeannette said...

I have always thought it was a great idea. However, I read not long ago that there has been some bullying going on towards the women. Hope it stops. What it needs is a lot more women joining.

Dawn said...

What an interesting entry Jan. Loved the photos also. I am going to return to blogging after such a long time. Glad things are well with you.

Jean said...

Hi Jan ,nice entry good for those ladies in their smart uniforms .Its so right that all women And(men) are recognized for playing their part ,we enjoyed seeing the display at the Brighton museum for "The Land Girls " ...with love and hugs Jeanxxx

Dawn said...

Hi Jan, As far as my sewing goes, I am almost finished making a jacket from a sweatshirt. Also halfway through a shawl, and have also volunteered to make ten colorfull pillowcases for very sick children in the hospital. Take care.

Karen said...

This was a great story. Loved the pictures!!

TARYTERRE said...

Loved this post. Ladies it's about time you were permitted to join the ranks of the Chelsea pensioners. I think a special HANDBAG designed for you, would be a fitting tribute, indeed.

Funnyface said...

Hi Jan,
That was a very interesting entry, i didn't know the ladies had joined the men. i think its wonderful.
Big Luv, Jaynee X