Chelsea Pensioners visit injured soldiers at Colchester recovery centre

Chelsea Pensioners visit Colchester Recovery Centre

Chelsea Pensioners visit Colchester Recovery Centre

A group of Chelsea Pensioners visited injured soldiers at a Colchester recovery centre.

The nine veterans, wearing their traditional scarlet overcoats, attended the Chavasse VC House facility run by the Help for Heroes charity.

During their stay they swapped stories with younger veterans due to be medically discharged over lunch, played pitch and putt, and toured the award-winning Chelsea Flower Show garden Hope on the Horizon which was re-planted at the Colchester Recovery Centre last year by garden designer Matt Keighley.

Among those they met were Marty Wilson and Mick MacFadyen, both from 2 PARA Regiment who were injured during service.

Former Colour Sergeant Marty, 42, was injured in action whilst on tour in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

He was shot in the head, leaving his left temporal lobe badly damaged and meant he could not speak, read or write, but after three-and-a-half years he is making remarkable progress, while Mick was injured whilst on exercise during a parachute jump.

The pair talked at length with Chelsea Pensioner John McNaughton, 81, who served in the 3 PARA regiment and completed 22 years’ service.

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John said: “This centre is fantastic, I cannot say it enough. When I was discharged there was nothing like this.

“I went from being a soldier to being on the scrap heap. Thank goodness we have this facility.”

Chavasse VC House is one of four Help for Heroes-run recovery centres and was officially opened in May 2012.

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